US COVID-19 cases declined to their lowest levels since June 2020. The good news happened as the country prepares for Memorial Day weekend. Memorial Day is the traditional start of the summer season.
US COVID-19 Cases Down
According to data gathered by Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day average of new infections in the US is around 26,000.
This is the lowest number since June 2020, a positive sign that America is turning the tide against the virus. In contrast, the daily average during March earlier this year is 66,000.
In addition, the decline in infections came at the right time. Many Americans are getting ready to travel for vacation.
This includes participating in crowd activities such as spending time at the beach and attending gatherings with friends and family. This also means that more Americans are getting ready to return to normalcy before the pandemic hit them in 2020.
Vaccinations Are Up
One of the reasons for the decline in US COVID-19 cases is an increase in vaccination rates among Americans.
Almost half of the entire population already received at least a dose of COVID-19 vaccines, with 39% already completing the required two doses. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 61% of Americans aged 18 and older received at least one vaccine shot.
In addition, purchase data from retailers are also showing renewed confidence among Americans to go out again.
Retailers such as Target, Walmart, and Macy’s said that consumers’ purchases show that more people are going out and getting more socially active. A rising number of customers are visiting stores again. Many are purchasing products they can use outdoors, such as new outfits or teeth whiteners.
It also helped that the CDC’s new public health recommendations relaxed its strict mask policy. The agency dropped the mask requirements in most indoor and outdoor activities.
However, the exemptions are for fully vaccinated people only. With the announcement, many states and national retailers aligned with the new policy and dropped their mask requirements as well.
said people who are fully vaccinated do not need to cover their faces in most indoor and outdoor settings. That prompted many retailers and some states, including New York, to drop mask requirements for those vaccinated and align with the new policy.
Other Factors Apart From Vaccinations
Meanwhile, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former Food and Drug Administration, says it’s more than vaccines. He says there are other reasons that helped reduce US COVID-19 cases.
Gottlieb said that additional factors include warming weather. In addition, coronavirus already infected a significant portion of the population.
Even as many states are lifting pandemic-induced restrictions, many people remain cautious about how they conduct themselves outdoors.
This is also helping reduce US COVID-19 cases. “People are being more cautious, generally, even though we’re starting to take masks off and go out and about.
People are more cautious about their interactions, so some of that is still having a downward effect on transmission,” Gottlieb said. Even with the declining rates, Gottlieb doesn't see the world declaring the coronavirus pandemic over this year. “I think we’re going to have a very quiet summer with respect to coronavirus spread and then have to contend with it again as we head into the winter,” he added.
Watch the Yahoo! Finance news video reporting that US COVID-19 cases continue to decline:
Do you agree that US COVID-19 cases will continue to go down? Do you think that the pandemic will end as early as this year?
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