This post is updated weekly.
We are now more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, which officially began on March 11, 2020, when the World Health Organization declared the viral outbreak a global event. It’s also been well over a year since the WHO announced on January 5, 2020, that there was a mysterious virus emerging in Wuhan, China. Since then, more than half a million Americans have died from the virus.
Today, the state of the pandemic looks far different than it did even a few months ago. We now have a handful of vaccines to prevent the infection, and half of all US adults are fully vaccinated. But it’s still crucial that we maintain our awareness of the severity of this crisis. Here’s a quick overview of the most recent essential stats and figures:
Current US vaccination numbers
The daily average number of administered vaccine doses has been dropping since mid-April, and is now just about 1.78 million doses per day, which is a 47 percent decrease from when vaccinations peaked on April 13th at 3.38 million doses per day. About half (49 percent) of the entire US population has now received at least one dose, and nearly 60 percent of those 18 and older have gotten at least one jab. President Biden has said that he wants to have at least 70 percent of Americans with at least one shot by July Fourth. That target might prove more difficult now that vaccinations have slowed. Nearly half (49.8 percent) of US adults are now fully vaccinated. All told, 163.9 million people living in the US have received one dose, and more than 130.6 million have received two Moderna or Pfizer shots or received the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
These are the top five states for percentage of population with at least one dose:
- Vermont at 70 percent
- Hawaii at 65 percent
- Massachusetts at 65 percent
- New Hampshire at 64 percent
- Connecticut at 62 percent
Every state has reached a rate of at least 25 percent complete vaccination, with Vermont leading the way at 53 percent and Mississippi trailing last at 26 percent.
Latest US COVID-19 case counts
The United States has now reported more than 33.2 million cases in total, and there were 24,794 new daily cases on average as of May 24. We’re currently on the decline from our third—and by far largest—peak so far. There was a long plateau, and even a brief rise, from February through April, but since the middle of April cases are once again declining.
COVID-19 testing rates have fallen significantly since the January peak, meaning case numbers aren’t directly comparable to the winter counts. But positivity rates have been falling too, giving some reassurance that the virus is truly becoming less prevalent. It’s crucial that we maintain the precautions that produced this decline. Most importantly, it’s crucial that everyone get vaccinated as quickly as possible. Every adult in the US is currently eligible—this is how we can all contribute to ending the pandemic.
Coronavirus stats around the world
Going by total case counts, the current top 10 countries for COVID-19 are:
- United Kingdom
But what these countries generally have in common is large populations. The list of total cases per 100,000 people tells a very different story (not counting countries with fewer than 100,000 people):
- Czech Republic
- United States
The US is the only country on both lists, which is a testament to how poorly we’ve handled containing the pandemic, especially early on. Every other nation with a lot of case counts generally has it by virtue of having a large population.
Though it still trails the US in case counts by a little more than six million, the pandemic is currently ravaging India. The number of new daily cases is rapidly declining, but it’s still the major driver of the global case count. Many countries in Central and South America, including Argentina, Uruguay, Costa Rica, and Paraguay, are also dealing with high infection rates.
The most recent COVID-19 hotspots in the US
Case numbers are continuing to decline in states like Michigan, New York, and New Jersey, while Michigan is still considered one of the riskiest states still for infection. Other risky states include Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Louisiana is the only state where case counts are increasing.
The coronavirus death toll and hospitalization rate
At least 587,342 Americans have now died from COVID-19, according to the CDC. An average of 498 people are dying every day from COVID—two hundred and twenty deaths were reported on May 24th alone. The average number of people hospitalized with COVID is at its lowest point since early April 2020, when the pandemic took hold in the US, and new daily deaths are at the lowest point since early July.
While vaccines offer a light at the end of the tunnel, and the CDC’s current mask guidelines show we are closer than ever to returning to some semblance of normal life, it’s just as important now as it was at the start of the pandemic to remain vigilant.
Correction: An earlier headline and incorrectly stated that COVID-19 cases and deaths were at an all-time low. In fact, hospitalizations and deaths are at their lowest levels since last summer. The body text also said that both deaths and hospitalizations are at their lowest point since March, but in fact only hospitalizations are that low, whereas deaths were lower for a brief period last June/July.
This post originally appeared on Science – Popular Science