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New U.S. COVID cases are down 21%. See how your state is doing

October 13, 2021, 9:00 PM UTC

Community transmission of COVID remains high in 89.2% of American counties, according to current data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite that, the latest wave, driven by the highly contagious and completely dominant Delta variant, appears to have crested, with new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to the virus all in decline from levels two weeks ago. (It’s estimated that the Delta variant accounts for 99.9% of U.S. cases.)

Cases and hospitalizations have decreased by roughly 20% in that period, while deaths due to the virus are down 4%, according to New York Times data from Oct. 12. States hit hardest by the Delta variant—especially those with lower vaccination rates in the South—continued to see large decreases in new cases, led by Alabama with a 61.9% decline from two weeks ago. Florida, Hawaii, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, and South Dakota all saw a greater than 40% decline in new coronavirus cases in that period.

New cases are trending up in 11 states, led by Minnesota, which saw a 35.2% increase in the average number of cases reported per day, compared with two weeks ago. Colorado and Michigan also saw new case reports rise by more than 20% in that period.

A significant portion of new infections continue to be pediatric cases—148,222, or 24.8% of those reported in the week ending Oct. 7, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Very few of those children have had severe cases; in the 24 states that report such data, they account for 1.4% to 4.2% of COVID hospitalizations.

Meanwhile, in the nation’s ongoing vaccine drive, people seeking a booster shot now outnumber those getting their first COVID vaccine. That’s not for lack of unvaccinated individuals—23.4% of the eligible population are still in that category—but slow uptake among them, even as many employers have begun to mandate it.

In total, 187.7 million Americans, or 56.5% of the total population, are fully vaccinated against COVID, up from 55% a week ago. Eight and a half million of those individuals, or 4.6% of them, have also received a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine, up from 3.2% a week ago. For individuals 65 and older, 11.9% have gotten a COVID booster shot.

While the FDA has so far only authorized Pfizer’s booster doses for certain populations, the agency will be formally discussing Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster data later this week.

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