September 9, 2020 at 11:31 AM EDT
Pandemic seems to be leveling off in U.S., but numbers remain troublingly high, experts say
By Anne Gearan and Rachel Weiner
The coronavirus pandemic appears to be leveling off in most of the United States, with new cases, deaths and hospitalizations all down over the past week, but the plateau leaves the country with high and persistent infection numbers and worries of a post-Labor Day surge in some areas.
The number of new cases reported daily peaked above 70,000 in July and has been falling since. The decline now seems to be slowing, with the daily number hovering near 40,000 for more than a week, a review of nationwide data showed Tuesday. That is one sign that the infection may be leveling off.
Although that is good news, the numbers suggest continued high levels of infection and a long road ahead, particularly as cold weather and the flu season approach. Without a vaccine or a major advance in treatment, significant reductions in new cases would probably require voluntary or mandated changes in behavior that experts say are unlikely six months into the public health crisis.