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U.S. COVID Case Numbers Plummet As Trust In Vaccinations Rise

New coronavirus cases across the United States have dropped to rates not seen in more than 11 months, creating new optimism that vaccination campaigns are reducing both severe COVID-19 cases and the spread of the virus.

In the wake of the surprise announcement from the CDC last week giving vaccinated Americans more freedom than ever before, pre-pandemic life in America has tentatively resumed, but with mandates still in place in several stores and other businesses throughout the country. But as cases, hospitalizations, and deaths steadily dropped this week, Americans were treated to the sight of staffers sharing hugs at the White House and other signs of returning to normalcy.

A medical mask is left on the ground near the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan on April 15, 2020. – A small group of health care workers and supporters gathered outside as well as drove their vehicles displaying signs of support and protest against a shortage of PPE gear at the University of Michigan Hospital. (Photo by SETH HERALD / AFP) (Photo by SETH HERALD/AFP via Getty Images)

Health experts credit an efficient rollout of vaccines for the turnaround. More than 60% of people over 18 have received at least one shot, and almost half are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But demand for vaccines has dropped across much of the country. President Joe Biden’s administration is trying to convince other Americans to sign up for shots, using an upbeat message that vaccines offer a return to normal life.

But even as states that have stuck to pandemic-related restrictions readied to drop them, health experts also cautioned that not enough Americans have been vaccinated to completely extinguish the virus, leaving the potential for new variants that could extend the pandemic.

As the seven-day average for new cases dropped below 30,000 per day this week, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the  (CDC), said that cases have not been this low since June 18, 2020. The average number of deaths over the last seven days also dropped to 552, a rate not seen since July last year. It’s a dramatic drop since the pandemic hit a devastating crescendo in January.

“As each week passes and as we continue to see progress, these data give me hope,” Walensky said Friday at a news conference.

 



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