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The disease caused by the novel coronavirus has killed at least people in the United States since February 2020 and enveloped nearly every part of the country.
But as more and more Americans are vaccinated, the U.S. portion of the pandemic seems to be receding.Jump to metric:
Places with highest daily reported cases per capita
7-day rolling average of daily new reported cases per 100,000 residents
The deadliest month was January 2021, when an average of more than 3,100 people died every day of covid-19. On six days that month, the number topped 4,000. On Feb. 22, the U.S. death toll surpassed half a million people.
But numbers dropped in January and February. By mid-May, fewer than 30,000 people were testing positive for the virus per day — roughly one-tenth of the January peak — and fewer than 600 per day were dying.
Meanwhile, the pace of vaccinations peaked at more than 4 million on some days in April, racing against time as new, more transmissible variants of the virus began to spread. By late May, more than 60 percent of adults had received at least one dose of vaccine.
New reported cases per day
At least have been reported since Feb. 29, 2020.
7-day average cases
- March 9, 2021 The spike is due to Missouri adding over 80,000 probable antigen cases to its case count.
No data is available in this period for All U.S.
Seven-day averages show trends better than single-day values, because states’ reporting of new cases and deaths tends to drop or stop altogether on weekends.
Numbers have fluctuated as testing and reporting criteria have evolved, particularly in areas that were hit early. Three spikes in the deaths chart above reflect large, one-time adjustments in 2020: In mid-April, New York City added more than 3,700 deaths. On June 25, New Jersey added more than 1,800. And in September, The Post changed its methodology for reporting deaths in New York and added a one-day increase of more than 2,700. Other single-day spikes have occurred as states have updated their reporting procedures and are noted below those charts.
Health officials, including the country’s top infectious-disease expert, Anthony S. Fauci, have said the virus has killed more people than official death tolls indicate.
Reported cases per 100,000 residents by county (7-day average)
The virus was initially concentrated in New York, where at least have died, and in places where vulnerable people congregate, such as nursing homes, factories and prisons. It eventually blanketed the country, reaching into some of the most remote areas.
In the absence of a federal plan, containment strategies varied by state and locality and often reflected political polarization. The mounting crush of cases in fall and winter, however, prompted officials of both parties to tighten mask mandates and reimpose restrictions on gatherings to try to squelch the spread.
Immediately after his Jan. 20 inauguration, President Biden, hoping to stall the virus’s spread while ramping up vaccine distribution, issued mask mandates on federal property, in airports and on many modes of transportation.
By March, governors in some states, particularly Republican-led states such as Texas, went the other way, lifting mask mandates and business restrictions just as the weather began to warm and many colleges let out for spring break. Cases rose again in some places.
But on May 13, Biden and Vice President Harris strode into the Rose Garden without masks to celebrate health officials’ surprise announcement that fully vaccinated people no longer needed to wear masks in most situations anywhere in the country.
“It’s a great milestone, a great day,” Biden said. “It’s been made possible by the extraordinary success we’ve had in vaccinating so many Americans so quickly.”
Case and death counts by place
|Place||Total reported cases per 100k||Avg. daily new cases per 100k||Change in daily cases in last 7 days|
While the overall of new cases dropped precipitously, the rate among unvaccinated people remained high.
People older than 65 and those with obesity and underlying health problems are the mostly likely to die of covid-19, but a large percentage of infections have occurred in younger, more mobile people. People younger than 40 tend to become less sick but also unknowingly may pass the virus to others around them.
Outbreaks have hit Black and Hispanic communities particularly hard. Native American communities were devastated by the virus as well, but some have become vaccine success stories as tribal health officials took vaccines directly to residents by any means needed — including dog sled.
Some sparsely populated areas have always ranked among the highest in deaths and cases per capita.
People in very rural areas may be more vulnerable to covid-19 than urbanites, according to a Washington Post analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
Ten counties with highest rates of reported cases
|County||Total reported cases per 100k||New cases in last 7 days per 100k|
Testing was slow to begin, and demand often overwhelmed testing infrastructure, muddying the ability of officials to get a true picture of the virus’s reach. But like other metrics, demand for testing has dropped in recent months.
Tests reported per 100,000 residents
|Place||New tests reported in last 7 days per 100k||Percent positive in last 7 days|
During the winter crush, some hospitals were overrun with covid-19 patients. Unable to find enough beds and health-care workers, hospitals had to limit routine care, defer non-emergency surgeries, divert some patients to distant facilities and send others home with monitoring equipment.
But outbreaks have since become more localized, and state hospitalization trends have dropped as fewer patients are sick enough to be admitted.
Reported covid-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents
|Place||Currently hospitalized for covid per 100k||Currently occupied ICU beds per 100k||Change in hosp. from last week|
Testing and treatment technologies have advanced as the pandemic has dragged on. At-home tests and an antibody treatments have been approved.
Most importantly, of course, on Dec. 14, the first approved coronavirus vaccine began going into American arms. Two more soon followed.
Doses of covid-19 vaccines administered per 100,000 residents
|Place||People partially vaccinated per 100k||People fully vaccinated per 100k||Pct. of pop. that has completed vaccination|
The rollout had initial hiccups and glitches but smoothed out in spring, and now everyone 12 and over is eligible to be vaccinated. Trials have begun that may allow for vaccination of younger children by late this year or early 2022.
While the pandemic isn’t over in the United States, the worst of it may be past.
“I’m sure that we can control it,” Fauci told The Post on May 21. “Somewhere between control and elimination is where we’re going to wind up. Namely a very, very low level that isn’t a public health hazard that doesn’t disrupt society.”
About this storyOriginally published March 27, 2020.
Recent changes on this page
March 3 Changed the data source for tests to the Department of Health and Human Services.
February 23 Changed the data source for hospitalizations to the Department of Health and Human services. See the methodology note for more details.
February 19 Marked anomalous days on the daily count chart, and reformatted the chart note to better track data anomalies.
February 12 Updated vaccination charts to reflect reported doses administered per day.
February 2 For five states with limited state hospitalization reports (WV, NV, ND, MS, and WY), data now comes from the Department of Health and Human Services, instead of state reports.
January 8, 2021 Added a data table and charts for vaccinations, and changed the vaccination metrics to display the most reliable data available.
December 23 Added vaccination data to state summaries where available.
December 15 Removed anomalous data from the rolling averages (such as backlogged cases or deaths reported in bulk on a single day), and other data improvements.
December 1 Updated the presentation of hospitalization and testing data, and added aggregate U.S. data for those indicators.
October 30 Added several notes clarifying which days states are expected to report data.
October 28 Switched to reported case counts from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment which only provides data updates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This has also resulted in a one-day spike of reported cases on Oct. 28.
September 18 Switched to using the confirmed death counts for Bronx, Kings, New York, Queen's, and Richmond counties as reported by New York City, while continuing to use the state's reporting for deaths in all other counties. This has resulted in a one-day spike of 2,732 deaths. Read more about how NYC's methodology differs from NY state's. The Post has been using the city's probable death counts since April.
Given the difference in the methodologies between the state and the city, the Post feels that the city's numbers, which are derived both from positive blood tests and from deaths reported by the city's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, provide a clearer indication of the fatality count than the state's approach, which uses numbers reported by hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities. This means that the city's counting process is more likely to include deaths that occurred outside of care settings.
August 24 Replaced the modeled trend with a more standard 7-day rolling average of new daily cases and deaths.
August 20 Added a module to show the aggregate statistics in the U.S. and each state/territory over the past week.
July 29 Added hospitalization data and other page improvements.
July 2 Replaced the 7-day running average of new cases and deaths with a 14-day modeled trend. Added the week-over-week percentage change to the trends charts, using the modeled trend values. Also added additional columns to the data tables.
June 23 Added charts showing new daily counts in each state, ordered by the percentage increase in cumulative cases over the last week. Changed the default view of the page to confirmed cases per 100k.
June 11 Added an option to view change since last week to the map. The default view of the map is now deaths per 100k in the last seven days.
May 13 Added a line indicating the seven-day rolling average or reported cases and deaths to the national and state by day chart at the top of the page. The deaths total at the top of the page was revised to round the deaths number down to the nearest thousand.
May 6 Included revised data from New York City probable covid-19 deaths that attributes each death to the day it was first reported instead of on April 14.
April 24 The data on the page was revised to include Post-reported numbers. Reported data for New York City is now reported separately by county instead of being aggregated into one New York City total.
April 23 Date when states began reopening added to state charts.
April 21 Charts showing testing data for all U.S. states and territories were added to the page.
April 14 New York City adds nearly 3,700 probable covid-19 deaths to its total.
April 7 Labels showing the date state emergency and stay-at-home orders were declared added to the state charts.