New U.S. Coronavirus Cases Fall Below 50,000 for First Time in Six Days

New U.S. coronavirus infections fell below 50,000, the lowest in nearly a week, as deaths approached 220,000 and moving averages suggested the spread is picking up steam.

The U.S. reported more than 48,000 new infections on Sunday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, down from 50,719 Saturday and 69,156 Friday. It was the fewest since last Monday’s 41,653.

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  • New U.S. cases fall below 50,000
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Date of peak daily cases*

Daily new case numbers tend to be lower at the beginning of the week, as fewer people are tested over the weekend. But data from the Covid Tracking Project showed testing ticking up nationwide, with more than 1.16 million tests conducted Saturday, the largest daily number since Oct. 10

The U.S. has now recorded more than 8.15 million cases and more than 219,600 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins’ data. World-wide, nearly 40 million people have been infected and more than 1.1 million people have died, the data show.

The seven-day moving average of daily new cases in the U.S., which smooths out irregularities in the data, was 55,493 as of Saturday, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins’ data. The 14-day moving average was 51,717. When the seven-day average is larger than the 14-day average, as it has been since Oct. 5, it suggests infections are accelerating.

The seven-day average was higher than the 14-day average for 42 states as of Saturday. On Friday, 10 states—including Idaho, Minnesota, New Mexico and North Carolina—marked records for new daily confirmed cases, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins data.

The South and the Midwest are being hit hardest, contributing 72% of the nation’s daily new cases, according to seven-day moving average data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project.

As of Sunday, five of the 10 states with the most new cases in the past seven days were in the Midwest, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—led by Illinois, which ranked second only to Texas.

But the number of people hospitalized because of the disease declined Sunday to 36,428 after four straight days above 37,000, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Saturday’s figure of 37,404 was the highest since late August.

Coronavirus aid: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) told the White House it had until Tuesday to reach a deal with Democrats or legislation to provide additional coronavirus relief to struggling households and businesses couldn’t be passed before the election. If Tuesday evening passes without an agreement, negotiations could continue, but would be unlikely to produce sweeping relief legislation within two weeks, an aide to Mrs. Pelosi said. And the election could create new political uncertainties that could make an agreement even harder to reach afterward.

Daily reported Covid-19 deaths in the U.S.

Notes: For all 50 states and D.C., U.S. territories and cruises. Last updated

Source: Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science

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From the pandemic declaration to the fall surge, here’s a timeline of Covid-19 in the USd

Experts say the fall Covid-19 surge is here. Infections and hospitalizations are rising across the country. And one leading health official says daily Covid-19 deaths could soon begin climbing, too.

a man wearing a costume: Medics transfer a patient on a stretcher from an ambulance outside of Emergency at Coral Gables Hospital where Coronavirus patients are treated in Coral Gables near Miami, on July 30, 2020. (Photo by Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images)

© Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images
Medics transfer a patient on a stretcher from an ambulance outside of Emergency at Coral Gables Hospital where Coronavirus patients are treated in Coral Gables near Miami, on July 30, 2020. (Photo by Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images)

The alarming trends come ahead of a season that will likely be especially challenging. Students across the country have returned to class and college students — some of whom live in campuses that reported Covid-19 outbreaks — will soon return to visit their families and could unknowingly bring the virus back with them. And Covid-19 will also be stacked up against the flu season and could create what doctors call a “twin-demic.”

What happens next is unclear. But here’s how we got here:

On April 10, about a month after Covid-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, the US hit its first high point during the pandemic, peaking at an average of a little more than 31,800 daily cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The country also eclipsed more than half a million Covid-19 infections.

Cases were clustered mostly in New York, with other, smaller outbreaks in places such as Washington state, Louisiana and Illinois. Around that time, New York state had more infections than any other country in the world, with more than 160,000 cases. As of October 16, the state has reported more than 481,000 infections.

By June 9, the US had flattened the curve and was averaging about 20,340 new cases daily, Johns Hopkins data showed. States were opening back up after weekslong lockdowns that were put in place to help curb the spread of the virus.

With the easing of measures, more Americans began to venture outside and images and videos emerged of parties and other gatherings with no social distancing and few masks in sight.

By July 22, the nation reached its highest peak of the pandemic, to date, averaging more than 67,000 cases daily. The US was seeing huge spikes in cases in the West and South.

The case surges came weeks after crowds celebrated the July 4 holiday. Across the country, local officials warned more young people were testing positive and helping drive the increase in infections.

Arizona, Florida, California, Texas and Georgia were adding thousands of cases per day. Experts called Florida the epicenter of the pandemic and by the end of the month, more than four dozen hospitals across the state were reporting full ICUs.

By September 12, the summer peak had slipped down to a little more than 34,300 average new cases daily, according to data from Johns Hopkins. That baseline was higher than what it was in the spring and experts warned Americans should work to lower it as the nation was heading into the colder fall and winter months.

Now hotspots

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