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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.
The deadliest month was January 2021, when an average of more than 3,100 people died every day of covid-19. New cases and deaths declined dramatically in spring and early summer as vaccines became available. But as the more contagious delta variant took hold in July, the virus surged again, particularly in states with low vaccination rates.Jump to metric:
Places with highest daily reported cases per capita
7-day rolling average of daily new reported cases per 100,000 residents
By late September, the total covid death toll appeared to surpass that of the 1918 flu pandemic, and the seven-day average number of deaths had again climbed above 2,000 per day for the first time since March. However, the overall numbers of new infections had begun to drop again.
Within the country, vaccination rates still vary widely. In some states, nearly 70 percent of people are fully vaccinated. In others, less than half have received even one dose. The gap in vaccination between Democratic and Republican voters continues to widen.
New reported cases per day
At least have been reported since Feb. 29, 2020.
7-day average cases
- June 30, 2021 California removed 6,372 duplicate and reclassified cases from their count, resulting in a one-day negative case count.
- 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 virus trends better than single-day values, because not all states report their numbers every day.
Some numbers have also fluctuated as testing and reporting criteria have evolved, and spikes in the deaths chart above reflect large, one-time adjustments. For example, on June 25, 2020, New Jersey added more than 1,800 deaths at once. Other single-day spikes have occurred as states have updated their reporting procedures, and they 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. But it soon 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.
Immediately after his Jan. 20 inauguration, President Biden issued mask mandates on federal property, in airports and on many modes of transportation in hopes of buying time for a vaccination program to ramp up.
On May 13, he and Vice President Harris strode into the Rose Garden without masks to celebrate health officials’ surprise announcement that fully vaccinated people no longer needed masks in most situations. “It’s been made possible by the extraordinary success we’ve had in vaccinating so many Americans so quickly,” Biden said.
However, in late July, as the delta variant proliferated around the country and cases and deaths rose in nearly every state, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that everyone resume wearing masks indoors in covid hot spots in an attempt to squelch the spread.
Research indicated that the delta variant can cause more severe illness than earlier variants, and that even vaccinated people who have breakthrough infections can spread it — although vaccines broadly protect from covid’s most harmful effects.
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|
The reaction by state officials was polarized again, even in states with skyrocketing infections. Some governors attempted to prevent mask mandates, notably in Texas and Florida; others implemented new mandates as their health-care systems strained to care for new covid patients.
Some high-profile employers, including Google, the Mayo Clinic and the military, began requiring that workers be immunized. California became the first state to require vaccinations or regular testing for teachers and staff, and others followed. Some colleges decided to mandate vaccines for students. Concert and event organizers began requiring proof of vaccination.
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 people.
Outbreaks have hit Black, Hispanic and Asian 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 ranked among the highest in deaths and cases per capita throughout the pandemic.
People in very rural areas may be more vulnerable to covid-19 than urbanites, according to a Washington Post analysis of CDC 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 in 2020, and demand often overwhelmed testing infrastructure at first, muddying the ability of officials to get a true picture of the virus’s reach. But like other metrics, demand for testing dropped and then began to tick up recently as the delta variant spread.
Tests reported per 100,000 residents
|Place||New tests reported in last 7 days per 100k||Percent positive in last 7 days|
Hospitals in hard-hit areas were again overcrowded and running short of intensive-care unit beds.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson banned mask mandates in spring, then changed his mind in August as the state’s hospital system was inundated with seriously ill patients. The South has lower vaccination rates than other areas of the country and has been hit especially hard by the delta variant.
In September, states and hospitals, particularly in the west, were forced into the agonizing position of rationing medical care as unvaccinated patients overwhelmed entire health-care systems.
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|
Most importantly, of course, on Dec. 14, the first FDA-approved coronavirus vaccine, developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, began going into American arms. Two more, by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, soon followed.
A Pfizer booster is being rolled out to the most vulnerable people, and millions have already received them, including Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
At least one vaccine may be approved for children under 12 sometime this fall.
Doses of covid-19 vaccines administered per 100,000 residents
|Place||People fully vaccinated||Pct. of pop. that has completed vaccination|
“We’re going in the wrong direction.”
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.