‘Hard to explain’: Scientists struggle to figure out plunging COVID cases

Just the News:

Feared post-holiday surge never materialized; positive tests have dropped roughly to October levels

Scientists are struggling to explain the major, ongoing drop in Covid cases nationwide, with experts pointing to a variety of explanations including possible herd immunity, compliance with mitigation orders and rising vaccination rates as possible causes. 

Positive Covid tests skyrocketed throughout the fall and winter, with positive tests reaching a high of just under 300,000 one day in early January. 

Following that peak, cases tumbled downward in what was effectively an unbroken decline in positive test results for two months. Daily caseslate last week reached levels not seen since October. The decline appears to have leveled off, but rates remain significantly lower than at the beginning of January. 

It is by far the most sustained drop the country has seen since the pandemic began, made all the more astonishing by the fact the drop began almost immediately after the end of the holidays. Public health officials had issued dire warnings that holiday get-togethers, increased travel and more face-to-face contact among Americans would lead to runaway transmission and death rates.

Yet Monday’s roughly 53,500 new cases represented a 75% drop from the 213,239 cases observed on Christmas Eve.

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