US COVID-19 cases fall 15% in past week, deaths down for four weeks

US COVID-19 cases fall 15% in past week, deaths down for four weeks

FILE PHOTO: Health care worker uses a swab to test man at COVID-19 drive in testing location in Hou
FILE PHOTO: A healthcare worker uses a swab to test a man at a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) drive-in testing location in Houston, Texas, U.S., August 18, 2020. REUTERS/Adrees Latif/File Photo

NEW YORK: The number of new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in the United States fell 15 per cent last week from the previous seven days, and deaths fell for a fourth week in a row, according to a Reuters analysis.

The United States reported on average about 35,000 new cases each day in the week ended Sept. 13, marking the eighth straight week of declines from a peak in July of about 70,000 new cases a day. 

On average, more than 735 people a day died from COVID-19 last week, with fatalities declining in California and Texas and holding steady in Florida.

Nevertheless, nine states have seen cases rise for at least two weeks, down from 17 states the previous week, according to the Reuters tally of state and county reports. 

They include North Dakota and Wisconsin in the Midwest and Delaware, New Hampshire and New Jersey in the Northeast. Arkansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah are also seeing a resurgence in cases.

The United States tested on average 650,000 people a day last week, down 5 per cent from the prior week and down from a peak in late July of over 800,000 people a day.

Nationally, the share of all tests that came back positive for COVID-19 fell for a sixth week to 5.4 per cent, well below a recent peak of nearly 9 per cent in mid-July, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.

However, 27 of the 50 states still have positive test rates above the 5 per cent level that the World Health Organization considers concerning. 

In South Dakota, where a large motorcycle rally took place in August, 17 per cent of tests came back positive last week. Idaho, Iowa, Kansas and Wisconsin had positive test rates around 15 per cent.

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Source: Reuters/ec