The U.S. reported on Monday the smallest daily increase in the number of new coronavirus cases in more than four months, continuing recent hints of hope for pandemic management in the country.
States reported an additional 52,530 infections, up from 58,702 on Sunday, according to the Covid Tracking project. This is the smallest one-day increase in cases since October 18.
Over the past week, the U.S. has recorded an average of 64,034 new cases a day, the lowest rate since late October. This represents a drop of 74 percent from the highest rate in early January for more than 247,000 cases per day.
However, Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned Monday night at a White House briefing on coronavirus that, although the average for the past five weeks has been declining, it is still “high” and in line with the summer wave when the states under the sun belt were among the most affected.
Casting a shadow on Monday’s figures, the U.S. death toll exceeded 500,000 for the first time, according to Johns Hopkins University. The Covid Tracking project, whose data the Financial Times uses for analysis, estimated the death toll at 490,382.
“Because our data set is used [New York State] reported death, which does not include more than 8,000 deaths reported [New York City], our total death toll lags behind other trackers who marked 500,000 deaths today, ”Covid Tracking Project said in a Twitter message, adding that it recognized“ too few ”deaths from coronavirus in the U.S.
Authorities attributed a further 1,235 deaths due to coronavirus on Monday, the smallest one-day increase in seven days.
The number of patients currently hospitalized in the U.S. with coronavirus has dropped to 55,403, the lowest level since early November.
Data on Monday tend to be lower than other days of the week due to delays in reporting on weekends. The harsh winter weather may also still have a dampening effect on data from states due to the closure of testing and vaccination sites and power outages.