U.S. COVID Deaths See a Peak As Cases Take Significant Dive

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has dropped significantly since this time last month, down almost 75 percent according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Meanwhile, the rate of COVID-19 deaths has increased, and average new deaths appear to have peaked over the last week.

Cases have been on a consistent decline since the January surge, resulting in several states easing up on COVID-19 restrictions and mandates in the last several weeks. President Joe Biden stated on NBC that the lifting of mandates was "probably premature," but acknowledged that it was a "tough call."

On January 15 of this year, confirmed COVID cases over a 7-day rolling average were at 806,175, the highest America has seen since the start of the pandemic.

Now, that average is down about 75 percent, at roughly 180,711 average confirmed cases over the last seven days.

Johns Hopkins University data states that deaths are averaging near 2,300 per day, but are down roughly 10 percent since last week. Hospitalizations continue to remain at roughly 95,000.

On February 12, 2,318 deaths were recorded, whereas on January 15 of this year, there were 1,931 recorded COVID-19 deaths. Still, the death toll could be considered past its peak.

In the first week of February, the COVID-19 death toll surpassed 900,000, again breaking records for the U.S. since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

According to an earlier report from Newsweek, the U.S. also has the highest number of people who have died from COVID-19 in the world, with nearly 300,000 more deaths than Brazil, the country with the next-highest number of deaths.

Health officials attributed the recent surge to the highly infectious Omicron variant, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated during the final week of January that the variant accounted for about 99.2 percent of all COVID cases in the U.S.

But as cases are on the decline, states have been rolling back their mask mandates, while health officials warn that it may be too soon. Delaware, Connecticut, New Jersey and Oregon have dropped mask mandates in all of their K-12 schools; the state of New York lifted their mask and proof of vaccination requirements on Thursday; and California plans to lift mandates February 15.

Once again, Biden urged Americans to get vaccinated, saying, "People should get the shots. We know the shots work. We know they work for the variants that we are dealing with now."

Currently, around 213 million Americans are fully vaccinated, the amount being only 64.7 percent of the U.S. population.

There is no guarantee that the recent decline of COVID cases will stay this way, either, as experts warn that more variants will continue to emerge.

Newsweek reached out to the Centers for Disease Control for additional comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Washington, DC Mayor Imposes Mask Mandate And
COVID cases in the U.S. are down 75 percent from this time last month, while deaths remain higher. In this photo, local residents wait in line for COVID-19 tests at a free testing site at Farragut Square as coronavirus cases surge in the city on December 21, 2021, in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images