NPR

U.S. Coronavirus Cases Dropped Dramatically Since January, But Can We Keep Them Down?

The country has beat back the winter surge, and experts credit Americans' improved compliance with precautions like mask-wearing. But we could we still face a resurgence if we let up.
Restrictions on public gatherings and indoor dining, as well as improved rates of mask-wearing and social distancing helped bring down the rate of new coronavirus infections in the U.S. Source: Dia Dipasupil

Updated 2:12 p.m. ET

With coronavirus infections on a steady, six weeks long descent in the U.S., it's clear the worst days of the brutal winter surge have waned. Yet researchers are still not sure how sustainable the decline is. And a small but concerning uptick in cases in the last three days has health officials on edge.

So what caused the massive decline since January, and what can the U.S. do to ensure that it lasts?

New infections have fallen close to 70% nationwide in just over six weeks, bringing the average number of cases to levels last seen in early fall.

The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 has plummeted by nearly 60% since the peak in January. The rate of tests coming back positive in the U.S. is far below what it was during the January peak, down from over 13% to now less than 5%.

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