US COVID-19 deaths top 900,000, cases slowing: 3 updates

The COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. has surpassed 900,000, President Joe Biden announced in a statement Feb. 4. 

President Biden estimated vaccines "have saved more than one million American lives," and urged those who are unvaccinated to get their shots and those who are eligible to get boosted. 

Data from The New York Times showed 901,405 cumulative COVID-19 deaths as of Feb. 6. 

Three more updates: 

1. Deaths: By April, COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. will likely surpass 1 million, Ashish Jha, MD, dean of Brown University's School of Public Health in Providence, R.I., said in a Feb. 4 tweet. Deaths have been on the rise in recent weeks, CDC data shows.The daily average for COVID-19 deaths on Feb. 6 was more than 2,500, an 18 percent rise from the 14 days prior, according to the Times

Since deaths lag behind cases by several weeks, Dr. Jha tweeted Feb. 6 the nation "should see deaths turning down in about a week," though trends could vary by states based on vaccination coverage. 

2. Cases: Cases are falling in nearly every state. The daily average for cases on Feb. 6 was 295,922, down nearly 60 percent compared to the 14 days prior, data from the Times shows. 

In the four largest states — New York, Florida, Texas and California — new infections are down 50 percent to 80 percent, Dr. Jha said. 

"We're on the declining end of [the] omicron surge," Dr. Jha tweeted. "Deaths [are] still horribly high, largely driven by our poor vaccination rates. That should also hopefully decline substantially in the upcoming weeks," which means a "relatively better spring, summer," he said. Still, "don't count out [a] summer surge in the south." 

3. Hospitalizations: The daily average for hospitalizations was 121,600 on Feb. 6, down 23 percent over the last two weeks. While on the decline, hospitalizations still remain among the highest levels of the pandemic, data from the Times shows. 

A Feb. 1 report from the CDC found unvaccinated people were 23 times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 than people who received a booster during the omicron wave.


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