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COVID-19 Numbers Continue to Look Better

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A line chart showing that new case counts started at a high level Dec. 1, went up a hill a couple of weeks later, came down some, went up a higher hill in early January, and has been falling. Forecasts suggest it should start falling below the December 1 level. This CDC’s COVID-19 new case forecast chart incorporates many different predictions. (Image: CDC)

The top federal COVID-19 tracking team says key pandemic intensity indicators improved last week.

The U.S. death rate increased slightly, but the number of new cases fell, and the percentage of people tested who actually had the virus that causes COVID-19 also fell, according to the White House COVID-19 Team Data Strategy and Execution Workgroup.

The team includes representatives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Digital Service and other federal agencies.


Top White House pandemic advisors, including Jeff Zients, the current head of the White House pandemic team, said Wednesday, during a press conference that was streamed live on the web that they’re worried about the possibility that extra-contagious variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) —  the virus that causes COVID-19 — could make the situation in the United States worse.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said scientists are looking into whether people should respond to the threat of new variants by wearing one mask over another mask when they go out in public.

But, for now, the third big U.S. COVID-19 wave appears to be coming down from the wave that crested a few weeks ago.

A week ago, the CDC’s “new case” forecast chart showed that the number of new cases might fall a bit, but that the number of new cases could also rise sharply.

This week, the CDC’s new case forecast chart shows that the number of new cases likely fall sharply, or, at worst, level off, from now through March 1.

Pandemic Intensity Data

The Biden administration’s second weekly White House Coronavirus Task Force report includes several pages of state-level pandemic intensity data and some national data.

Here’s what happened to some of the key national COVID-19 indicators between the week ending Jan. 22 and the week ending Jan. 29:

  • New Cases per 100,000 People: 324 (down from 381)
  • Percentage of People Tested Who Had COVID-19: 8% (down from 10.6%)
  • New COVID-19 Hospital Admissions per 100 Beds: 18 (down from 20)
  • COVID-19 Deaths per 100,000: 8 (up from 6.5)
  • Nursing Homes With 1 or More New Resident COVID-19 Deaths: 14% (down from 15%)

— Read White House Advisors Say U.S. May Have a Bad New COVID-19 Strain, on ThinkAdvisor.

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