The fourth U.S. wave of COVID-19 cases has started.
It’s not yet clear whether the wave will be a big one, or a little swell tamped down by masks, vaccines and successful social distancing efforts. But the total number of new cases in the United States increased to 422,980 in the seven-day period ending March 27, up 11% from the total for the week ending March 20.
The number of cases per 100,000 residents increased to 127. That was up from 115 per 100,000 U.S. residents a week earlier, and up from a recent low of 113 per 100,000 U.S. residents two weeks earlier.
The all-time peak new case rate for the entire COVID-19 pandemic period was 528 new cases per 100,000 U.S. residents, which occurred in the worst week in January.
At the state level, percentage changes in the number of new cases ranged from a decrease of 62%, in Alabama, up to an increase of 56%, in one Midwestern state, with the typical change being an increase of about 11%.
The size and severity of the fourth wave could determine how quickly the U.S. economy gets back to normal, and what happens to U.S. life insurers’ life insurance claims.
For the five states with the worst increases in the number of new cases, see the slideshow above.