U.S. COVID-19 cases fall 15% in past week, deaths down for four weeks

FILE PHOTO: Health care worker uses a swab to test man at COVID-19 drive in testing location in Houston, Texas

(Reuters) – The number of new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in the United States fell 15% last week from the previous seven days, and deaths fell for a fourth week in a row, according to a Reuters analysis.

The United States reported on average about 35,000 new cases each day in the week ended Sept. 13, marking the eighth straight week of declines from a peak in July of about 70,000 new cases a day. On average, more than 735 people a day died from COVID-19 last week, with fatalities declining in California and Texas and holding steady in Florida.

(Open https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/USA-TRENDS/dgkvlgkrkpb/index.html for a Reuters interactive graphic)

Nevertheless, nine states have seen cases rise for at least two weeks, down from 17 states the previous week, according to the Reuters tally of state and county reports. They include North Dakota and Wisconsin in the Midwest and Delaware, New Hampshire and New Jersey in the Northeast. Arkansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah are also seeing a resurgence in cases.

The United States tested on average 650,000 people a day last week, down 5% from the prior week and down from a peak in late July of over 800,000 people a day.

Graphic – Tracking the novel coronavirus in the U.S.: https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-USA/0100B5K8423/index.html

Nationally, the share of all tests that came back positive for COVID-19 fell for a sixth week to 5.4%, well below a recent peak of nearly 9% in mid-July, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.

However, 27 of the 50 states still have positive test rates above the 5% level that the World Health Organization considers concerning. In South Dakota, where a large motorcycle rally took place in August, 17% of tests came back positive last week. Idaho, Iowa, Kansas and Wisconsin had positive test rates around 15%.

Graphic – World-focused tracker with country-by-country interactive: https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/COUNTRIES/oakveqlyvrd/index.html?id=united-kingdom

(Writing by Lisa Shumaker; Graphic by Chris Canipe; Editing by Tiffany Wu)