The average number of newly reported Covid-19 cases remained elevated in the U.S. over the past week, even as the Easter holiday led to a drop in daily recorded infections and deaths.
While new cases are down from their January highs, they have been trending higher in recent days. The seven-day average, which smooths out irregularities in data reporting, was 64,628 on Saturday, while the 14-day average was 63,222, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. When the seven-day average is higher than the 14-day average, as it has been since March 24, it indicates cases are rising. Half of states are reporting higher seven-day averages.
The U.S. reported more than 34,000 new infections on Sunday, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Newly reported cases tend to be lower toward the beginning of the week, as fewer people get tested during the weekend and some states don’t report data on Sundays, and rise over the course of the week.
Sunday’s figure, which was likely affected by the Easter holidays, compares with more than 62,000 cases reported on Saturday and more than 43,000 a week earlier.
Hospitalizations have also flattened, with states over the past month reporting between 50,000 and around 40,000 Covid-19 patients in hospitals, according to the latest data posted by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The number of U.S. deaths from Covid-19 fell to 222 on Sunday from 676 a day earlier. The seven-day average stood at 838 on Saturday, compared with a 14-day average of 900. The U.S. has now reported more than 555,000 deaths from Covid-19 and more than 30.7 million infections.
Vaccine distribution has picked up, with the country administering an average of 3.1 million vaccine doses over the past week, according to a Journal analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 18% of the U.S. population is now fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and 32% have received at least one dose, CDC data shows.
Johnson & Johnson is taking over manufacturing of its Covid-19 vaccine at a contract manufacturer’s plant that makes the main ingredient, after a production problem ruined a batch. To give J&J full control, production of AstraZeneca’s vaccine at the Emergent BioSolutions Inc. plant in Baltimore will move elsewhere.
Despite Covid-19 cases falling in most states from January highs and more people being vaccinated, life in most of the U.S. isn’t back to normal, an analysis of foot-traffic data shows. Americans went out less in January, February and early March compared with the same period in 2020, before the pandemic forced state restrictions.