Covid cases are reaching a low point in America as the nation begins to move on from the winter Omicron wave and the pandemic in general. The U.S. only recorded 7,464 new infections of Sunday, and places with the strictest measures like New York City and Chicago are lifting remaining mandates.
This is the first time less than 10,000 cases were recorded on a single day since July 11 of last year. Sundays will often have smaller Covid numbers than other days because many local health departments are closed, but this Sunday had an especially low case total. Previous ‘small’ Sunday totals so far this year have been upwards of 70,000.
The nation’s daily case average has fallen to as low as 66,337 per day, a 34 percent decrease over the past week, and a whopping 91 percent fall from the 800,000 case per day record reached in mid-January.
As cases continue their fall, pandemic related restrictions on Americans are starting to vanish. Nearly every state in America either has lifted mask orders or has scheduled a day to do so in the near future. Even the U.S. Capitol, which has had a controversial mask mandate since legislators returned in Summer 2020, lifted mask orders over the weekend.
Vaccine mandates, possibly the most controversial Covid-related mandates, are starting to become a thing of the past as well. New York City Mayor Eric Adams said Sunday that he will soon lift vaccine checks required for many entertainment and fitness venues. Employer mandates will remain in place for the time being, though.
Masks in schools are set to become a thing of the past in New York. Gov Kathy Hochul – who had already lifted indoor mask orders earlier this month – removed the state’s school mask mandate over the weekend. The change will go into effect on March 2.
Per revised CDC guidelines, 70% of Americans no longer live under a mask recommendation
New York City Mayor Eric Adams (left) has elected to lift the city’s vaccine mandate for indoor dining, fitness and entertainment venues. Gov Kathy Hochul (right) announced over the weekend that the state’s school mask mandate will be lifted on March 2
Chicago, another one of America’s bluest states that has had some of the strictest rules during the pandemic, will drop mask and vaccine mandates on Monday as cases continue a rampant fall in the Windy City.
Federal officials finally budged on Friday. After weeks of dragging their feet on changing mask orders, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised how it calculates Covid risk for each county. Instead of only counting cases, the agency will now heavily weigh hospitalization rate and hospital capacity in each U.S. county.
Previously, 95 percent of U.S. counties, containing nearly every resident of the U.S., were considered to live in an area of ‘high’ or ‘substantial’ transmission. Under the new changes, now only 37 percent of counties, containing 28 percent of Americans, are under a mask recommendation. The ‘substantial’ classification was removed, and 40 percent of counties are considered to have ‘medium’ risk, and 23 percent are at ‘low’ risk.
The CDC had been under pressure in recent weeks to remove mask recommendations due to falling cases nationwide. The agency was slow to move, though, with 49 of the 50 states – Hawaii being the outlier – setting plans to do away with face coverings even before the revised CDC guidelines.
California, the nation’s most populous state, is even moving to put the pandemic behind it all together. Two weeks ago, California Gov Gavin Newsom announced California will soon transition into treating COVID-19 as an endemic, moving on from the pandemic as the state marks two years since the first cases of the virus were detected in the U.S.
The Golden State is now the first U.S. state to declare the virus ‘endemic’, though some others have decided the pandemic is over entirely with no plans to deal with the virus going forward.
Daily Covid deaths in America are continuing to decline as well. The nation is averaging 1,755 deaths per day, a 19 percent drop over the past week. Hospitalizations, a largely inaccurate stat that the CDC has used as the base for its risk level calculations, have dropped 43 percent over the past two weeks as well, with 52,909 Covid-positive people receiving treatment every day.
Covid cases are dropping over the past two weeks in all 50 U.S. states. Mississippi, one of the least vaccinated states in America, is recording the sharpest drop in cases, with daily infections falling 86 percent over the past week. The Magnolia state was one of the final states on the east coast still being slammed by Omicron, and was a longtime leader in Covid mortality. The state is now only recording 0.83 deaths per 100,000 residents.
Not a single state is recording 100 daily infections per 100,000 residents, with Idaho being the leader with 82 daily cases per 100,000 members of the population.
Both Nebraska and Maryland have nearly eliminated Covid from the states for now, with each recording less than ten daily infections per 100,000 residents.
Ohio leads the U.S. in Covid mortality, averaging 1.33 daily deaths per 100,000 residents. The Buckeye State, which has only vaccinated 58 percent of its population, is one of five states to be recording more than one daily death per 100,000 residents.