The COVID-19 death toll plunged by nearly 20 percent in the US over the past week — even as the number of new cases and hospitalizations continued to rise, officials said Wednesday.
A total of 745 people died from the virus between March 30 and April 5 — down 19.7 percent from the 928 people during the previous week, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a White House press briefing.
The decrease in fatalities came as vaccination rates continued to ramp up across the nation — with around 3 million people now getting shots per day in the US, she said.
“I’m encouraged by the decreased numbers of deaths,” Walensky said. “While these rates of vaccinations are incredible and so encouraging for all of us, trends are increasing in both case numbers and hospitalizations.”
The average number of daily coronavirus cases grew 2.3 percent from 62,058 to 63,479 from last week to this week, according to CDC data.
And the average number of daily hospitalizations also increased by 2.7 percent from 4,949 to 5,082 during the same time period.
Vaccination rates in the US continue to rise with nearly 3 million people getting shots every day.Michael Nagle via Getty Images
Walensky attributed some of those cases to younger Americans, many of whom are among the last in line to be vaccinated.
“Across country we are hearing about [virus] clusters associated with daycare centers and youth sports. Hospitals are seeing more and more younger adults — those in 30s and 40s admitted with severe disease,” Walensky said. “We must continue to vaccinate as many Americans as we can.”
Members of the National Guard check people in at a COVID-19 vaccination site at the Javits Center in New York City.Michael Nagle via Getty Images
Recent data from Johns Hopkins University shows that nearly half of the nation’s new COVID-19 cases are concentrated in US five states — including New York, which had the most new infections across the country last week.
As of Wednesday, 76 percent of seniors and 80 percent of teachers or child care workers had received at least one vaccination shot, she said.
Hundreds of people stand in line outside the mass coronavirus vaccination site at Hagerstown Premium Outlets in Hagerstown, Maryland on April 7, 2021.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Overall, 32 percent of all adults in the US have received at least one shot, according to the CDC’s data tracking website.
More than 556,000 million people in the US have died of COVID-19.