US COVID-19 cases fall below delta peak; excess deaths surpass 1 million

As COVID-19 cases drop rapidly, deaths have decreased slightly but remain high, with excess U.S. deaths reported since Feb. 1, 2020, surpassing 1 million.

As the U.S. omicron wave recedes, new COVID-19 cases are hitting their lowest levels since September, according to data tracked by The New York Times.

As of Feb. 15, the seven-day new case average is 140,240. This falls below the peak of delta's wave, when new case averages hit 164,418 on Sept. 1. 

At omicron's peak, new case averages hit 806,795 on Jan. 14, according to the Times. 

Despite declining case numbers, COVID-19 deaths remain high, with the current daily average around 2,328, as reported by the Times. The U.S. has also recorded 1,045,389 excess deaths since the start of the pandemic, data updated Feb. 16 from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics shows. The estimate suggests most of the excess deaths are tied to the virus. Other causes of death, such as heart disease and hypertensive disease, were inflated during the pandemic compared with historical trends. 

The CDC estimates excess deaths to provide information about the mortality burden potentially related to the pandemic. The figure includes deaths directly or indirectly attributed to COVID-19. "The pandemic may have changed mortality patterns for other causes of death," the agency's excess deaths website  says.


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