(Reuters) – U.S. deaths from COVID-19 last week fell to their lowest in nearly 14 months and the number of new cases continued to decline for a fifth week in a row, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county data.
Deaths for the week ended May 16 totaled 4,165, the lowest weekly death toll since March 2020, when the country reported 2,293 deaths. On average about 600 people died from COVID each day, down from a peak of over 3,000 deaths per day for most of January.
About 37% of the country’s population has been fully vaccinated as of Sunday, and 47% has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
New Hampshire leads the country with 85% of its residents receiving at least one dose, followed by Vermont at 65% and Massachusetts at 62%.
The rate of vaccinations, however, has been slowing for four straight weeks. In the past seven days, an average of 2 million vaccine doses were administered per day, which is down 2% from the previous week after falling 17% in the prior week.
New cases of COVID-19 fell 20% last week to 233,000, the lowest since June, according to the Reuters analysis. Only four out of 50 states logged week-over-week increases in new cases, including Alabama which reported over 9,000 new infections last week after processing a backlog of tests.
Excluding that backlog, Colorado led the nation in new cases per capita, overtaking Michigan, although new infections are falling in both states.
The lowest rates of infection based on population were in New Jersey, Oklahoma and California.
Nationwide, the average number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals fell 12%, the fourth weekly drop in a row.
(Graphic by Chris Canipe, writing by Lisa Shumaker, editing by Tiffany Wu)