COVID-19 deaths in the US have hit their lowest level in 10 months, with an average of 600 per day.
The last time the death count was this low was early July, before a second wave in the pandemic saw fatalities climb to an average of more than 3,400 a day in mid-January.
With vaccination efforts helping stamp out the virus, more than half of states have seen deaths drop to the single digits or even zero on some days.
Kansas reported no new virus-related fatalities from Friday through Monday, while Massachusetts celebrated the first time in nearly a year on Wednesday that the state had no new coronavirus deaths.
Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University, said it was evidence that vaccination efforts have “in effect tamed the virus.”
“The primary objective is to deny this virus the ability to kill at the rate that it could, and that has been achieved,” Adalja said.
Nearly 45 percent of the US’s adult population is fully vaccinated as of Wednesday, and over 58 percent have received at least one dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
With COVID-19 infections lowering, restrictions have also begun to be gradually scaled back.AP
COVID-19 cases, meanwhile, have plummeted to about 38,000 on average a day — which is their lowest mark since mid-September.
While the case count is still concerning, it has dropped by 85 percent from a peak of more than a quarter-million cases per day in early January.
A team of experts consulted by the CDC predicted in a report last week that new deaths and cases will drop sharply by the end of July and continue to fall after that.
Both indoor and outdoor dining have seen a rise in recent weeks amid lowered COVID-19 infections.AP
But other experts urged Americans to not let their guard down, pointing to how in India, more relaxed attitudes led to an explosion of cases.
“I think we are in a great place, but I think India is an important cautionary tale,” said Justin Lessler, an associate professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins.
“If there is a right combination of vaccine hesitancy, potentially new variants and quickly rolling back control measures that comes together, we could potentially screw this up and have yet another wave that is completely unnecessary at this point.”
With Post wires