The United States recorded fewer than 1,000 coronavirus deaths for the first time in nearly three months and the lowest number of cases since mid-October.
There were 989 COVID-19 related fatalities reported on Tuesday, the lowest figure seen since November 29, for a total of 486,332.
Daily deaths, which were spiking in the latter half of January and early February have dropped 80 percent since the peak of 5,077 reported on February 4, a DailyMail.com analysis shows.
Additionally, there just 53,883 infections recorded, the fewest since October 18 and a 64 percent drop from three weeks ago.
Over the last seven days, from February 10 to February 16, 590,766 COVID-19 cases were reported in the U.S., the DailyMail.com analysis found. More than 27.6 million have been recorded since the tart of the pandemic.
This is the lowest weekly total seen in more than three months, when a total of 586,872 cases were recorded between October 27 and November 2.
Nearly every single state is seeing a decline in cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, with just Delaware on the upswing.
In addition, 65,455 Americans are hospitalized with COVID-19, the lowest figure seen since November 11 and half of the number since on the peak in January, according to The COVID Tracking Project.
It comes as Andy Slavitt, the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and White House Covid-19 adviser, said the drop in COVID-19 cases could be ‘misleading’ in the face of variants, such as B.1.1.7, which was first identified in the UK.
‘I think we should be assuming that the next wave of case growth, to the extent that we have it, is going to be with B.1.1.7, and that’s something that I think everybody has to be even more cautious about,’ he told MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson on Monday.
‘It’s nice to see the numbers of cases drop, but it could be misleading.’
Increases in cases aren’t inevitable if people protect themselves, he said, urging people to continue to wear masks and follow guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The U.S. recorded 989 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, which is the first time fatalities have fallen below 1,000 since November 29
Daily deaths have dropped 80% since the peak of 5,077 reported on February 4, a DailyMail.com analysis shows
Just 53,883 COVID-19 infections were recorded in the U.S., the fewest since October 18 and a 64% decline from three weeks ago
A total of 65,455 Americans are hospitalized are hospitalized with COVID-19, the lowest figure seen since November 11 and half of the peak seen in January
Currently, 49 states are seeing a decline in cases with just Delaware trending upward, according to Johns Hopkins data
White House COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt said on MSNBC on Monday that the drop in cases could be ‘misleading’ in the face of variants, such as B.1.1.7
At the same time, Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said it’s important for Americans not to become complacent as they see daily cases and deaths decline.
‘We’ve just got to be careful about getting too excited about that because we do have the challenge of variants,’ he told CNN on Tuesday.
‘One of the things that we need to make sure we do is we don’t get complacent when we see those numbers go down.’
He urged the general public to continue following public health measures, such as masking and social distancing, until the case count is ‘so low that it is no longer a threat.’
Fauci said the other factor that will help drive rates down even further are the increasing numbers of people who are getting vaccinated.
So far, 38.2 million people have received at least one dose and 14 million people have been given both doses and are fully immunized.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday that in-person schooling can resume safely with masks, social distancing and other strategies, and vaccination of teachers, while important, is not a prerequisite for reopening.
In Los Angeles County some schools could resume on-campus learning as early as this week. The health department said in a statement: ‘This encouraging news means that dozens of elementary schools will be permitted to reopen for in-class instruction for students grades Kindergarten-6 as early as this week.’
That followed a protest by students and their parents to reopen schools in the area. Susanne Jacobson told KTLA: ‘I want my kid to get an education. He’s in eighth grade. He’s not ready for high school next year. He hasn’t had an education in a year. Distance learning is not working.’
Dr Anthony Fauci warned Americans in an interview on CNN on Tuesday (pictured) to not get ‘complacent’ and to continue following public health measures, such as masking and social distancing
So far, 38.2 million Americans have received at least one coronavirus vaccine dose and 14 million have been given both doses and are fully immunized
But former White House medical adviser Dr. Jonathan Reiner told CNN Monday the US should be ‘treating teachers like first responders’.
Reiner, who worked under former President George W. Bush, said: ‘Let’s treat them the way they need to be treated and vaccinate them all. Next week, the FDA is going to review the data for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is likely to be approved shortly thereafter.
‘Let’s take the first four million doses of that vaccine and dedicate it to America’s teachers. Let’s proactively vaccinate them… Let’s take the vaccine and vaccinate them the way health care workers are vaccinated. You know, bring them all into school over two weeks and vaccinate every teacher in the country.
‘Open schools three weeks later.’
Comments on the CDC guidelines Reiner added: ‘The CDC put forth this plan to open schools but it requires schools to open in places where the level of virus is low in the community and most parts of the country don’t have that right now.
‘Almost 89% of the districts are still in red zones.
‘It requires big, physical distancing in classrooms, six feet between students and, you know, classrooms are cramped. It’s going to be impossible.
Plus, the reassuring data about the low level of transmission in schools was acquired in a non-variant environment and with the emerging variants, there’s no data to reassure teachers.’
Former White House medical advisor Dr. Jonathan Reiner told CNN Monday the US should be ‘treating teachers like first responders’ and that they should all be vaccinated
Video courtesy of KTLA
Students and parents holding placards in their car protest during a car rally to encourage Los Angeles County to reopen schools
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that in-person schooling can resume safely with masks, social distancing and other strategies, and vaccination of teachers, while important, is not a prerequisite for reopening
Officials from the CDC had said there is strong evidence now that schools can reopen, especially at lower grade levels
In Los Angeles County some schools could resume on-campus learning as early as this week
Officials from the CDC had said there is strong evidence now that schools can reopen, especially at lower grade levels.
Recommended measures include hand washing, disinfection of school facilities, diagnostic testing and contact tracing to find new infections and separate infected people from others in a school. It’s also more emphatic than past guidance on the need to wear masks in school.
‘We know that most clusters in the school setting have occurred when there are breaches in mask wearing,’ Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC’s director, said in a call with reporters.
Vaccinating teachers can provide ‘an additional layer of protection,’ she said.
The guidance was issued as President Joe Biden faces increasing pressure to deliver on his promise to get the majority of K-8 schools back to in-person teaching by the end of his first 100 days in office.
He acknowledged that the goal was ambitious, but added, ‘It is also a goal we can meet if we follow the science.’