US COVID-19 cases, deaths at new lows; world passes 2020 death count 6 months into 2021 — 7 updates

As COVID-19 cases fall in the U.S., the pandemic has intensified in other countries, with more virus deaths reported in 2021 so far than during all of 2020, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Seven things to know: 

1. As of June 10, COVID-19 case numbers in the U.S. have dropped to their lowest point since testing became widely available, according to The New York Times.

2. The U.S. is reporting the lowest level of daily COVID-19 deaths since March 2020, the Times reports.

3. The pace of vaccination has slowed significantly over the past few weeks, according to the Times. As of June 10, about 1.1 million doses are administered per day, down from a mid-April peak of more than 3.3 million each day.

4. The alpha variant accounted for 66 percent of U.S. COVID-19 cases in mid-April, the CDC reports. The agency predicted the alpha variant, first identified in the U.K., became the dominant strain in the U.S. in the beginning of March. During the last weeks of December, the CDC estimated the strain made up 0.2 percent of U.S. cases, showing the variant's rapid spread. 

5. Vaccination rates are especially low in the South, with the nation's lowest vaccination rates in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, according to the Times.

6. Florida and Alabama are no longer providing daily COVID-19 data updates. Both will post weekly updates and cited the need to shift to the next response phase as cases decrease and vaccinations increase, according to U.S. News & World Report. 

7. Worldwide, more people have died from COVID-19 this year than in all of 2020, underscoring the fact that the pandemic is far from over, reports the Journal. It took less than six months for the globe to record more than 1.88 million virus deaths, with Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University's count for 2021 deaths surpassing the 2020 death toll June 10. While nations such as the U.S., Canada and the U.K. have seen declining cases and deaths tied to mass vaccination efforts, the pandemic has intensified in parts of Asia and Latin America.


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