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U.S. averages 50,000 new COVID-19 cases per day for first time since October

Data: JHU; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. is averaging fewer than 50,000 new coronavirus cases per day for the first time in over five months.

Why it matters: The downward trend comes after reaching a high in January and amid the U.S. vaccination campaign, but health officials warn people to remain vigilant about social distancing and masking.

By the numbers: The U.S. seven-day average peaked at nearly 250,000 cases per day in January but has steadily declined since to the current average of 49,908 cases per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

  • U.S. hospitalizations have dropped to 42,262, according to the New York Times, declining 33% over the past two weeks.
  • Deaths in the country decreased 20% in the past two weeks, dropping to about 1,650 deaths per day.

For the record: The last time the U.S. was down to 50,000 new cases per day was in mid-October.

  • The U.S. has confirmed a total of 29,099,393 cases since the pandemic started, per Johns Hopkins University.

What they're saying: "All this is good news," said Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during a briefing Wednesday.

  • But she emphasized that "our actions this week represent a first step, not our final destination."
  • Walensky said the U.S. is at a "critical point in this pandemic and on the cusp of having enough vaccines to protect every adult" in the country.
  • "We ask for your patience in practicing prudent prevention measures for just a while longer," she added.

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