American deaths from COVID-19 are averaging 600 per day, a 10-month low.
At the January peak, the United States was recording more than 3,400 deaths a day as the vaccine campaign got rolling. Now, in more than half of states the number of virus deaths has dropped into single digits or hit zero on some days.
Confirmed infections are averaging 38,000 per day, the lowest since September. Almost 45 percent of American adults are fully vaccinated, and more than 58 percent have received at least one dose.
Does this mean we can relax precautions? Top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci and former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb have suggested loosening mask rules in light of recent progress.
Justin Lessler, epidemiology professor at John Hopkins, called India a “cautionary tale” and warned that vaccine hesitancy, new variants, and lifting of restrictions prematurely could potentially lead to another wave of infections. But a group of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention experts last week predicted further decline in new deaths and cases by the end of July.
Dig deeper: Read Dr. Charles Horton’s Q&A about returning to normal post-vaccines.
This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.