Covid-19: U.S. Hospitalizations Down for 15th Day in a Row

The Wall Street Journal:

  • U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations have been declining since Jan. 12.
  • Newly reported cases topped 152,000 on Wednesday.
  • The nation reported more than 3,900 fatalities, bringing the death toll to more than 429,000.
  • France considered a third national lockdown as it tries to limit the spread of new virus variants.

The U.S. saw further declines in the number of people hospitalized because of Covid-19, while newly reported cases hovered around 150,000 for the third day in a row.

Hospitalizations, which totaled 107,444 as of Wednesday, have been on the decline since Jan. 12 when the figure was at 131,326, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The number of people in intensive care units also fell slightly to 20,497.

Newly reported coronavirus cases for Wednesday topped 152,000, up slightly from the previous day’s revised total of more than 146,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The data on newly reported cases may update later.

As the number of new cases eases in parts of the country, some states have begun rolling back restrictions on businesses and everyday life.

On Friday, the statewide risk level in North Dakota will be dropped to its lowest level, allowing for increased occupancy limits at bars, restaurants and other food-service establishments.

Michigan, meanwhile, will allow indoor dining starting Feb. 1, as cases have dropped to levels last seen in October. Restaurants will be required to operate at below 25% normal capacity, and tables must be set at a minimum distance of six feet apart.

Indoor dining at restaurants in New York City may also soon return. The state is considering a plan that would permit indoor dining at a capacity of 25%, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday. A decision will come by the end of the week, he said, after consultation with local health officials and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

RELATED STORY in the NYTIMES newsletter: “Good morning. Virus cases are falling more sharply in the U.S. than at any previous point”

A 35 percent decline = The United States has never experienced a sharp and sustained decline in new coronavirus cases — until, perhaps, now. Last year, new cases in the U.S. went through cycles of rising rapidly and then leveling off or falling only modestly. That was different from the situation in many other countries, where sharp drops sometimes occurred. Look at how much bigger the declines were in Western Europe last spring and last fall than in the U.S.:
EDITOR’S QUESTION: Will Joe Biden get credit for this? Perhaps be nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine?

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