US COVID-19 cases fall, but low transmission rate proves elusive

COVID-19 cases have fallen significantly since mid-January, when omicron peaked in the U.S. Still, no state has achieved a low transmission rate, based on the CDC's standards

The CDC considers areas with fewer than 10 new cases per 100,000 in the last seven days as having a low transmission level. As of Feb. 24, no state has reached this transmission rate, though Nevada, Maryland, Washington and Nebraska are close, recording 11 new cases per 100,000 in the last week, data from The New York Times shows.

Overall, 44 states have moderate transmission rates (10-49.99 new cases per 100,000 in the last week), and six states have substantial transmission (50-99.99 new cases per 100,000). None are considered to have high transmission rates, meaning at least 100 new cases per 100,000 in the last week. 

Nationwide, there is a moderate transmission rate, with 23 new cases per 100,000 people, the Times data shows. 

National vaccination rates are falling with COVID-19 cases. The seven-day average number of doses administered daily has been dropping consistently since early January, CDC data shows. This average sat at 203,871 Feb. 23, a 45 percent decrease from the previous week. 

As of Feb. 23, about 253.2 million people — 76.3 percent of the total U.S. population — had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 215 million people, or 64.8 percent of the population, had received both doses. 

Booster efforts also have slowed since mid-January. The seven-day average number of boosters given daily was 93,179 as of Feb. 23, down 43 percent from the previous week.

About 93.4 million fully vaccinated Americans had gotten a booster as of Feb. 23, accounting for 43.4 percent of the booster-eligible population.  

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