The spread of COVID-19 has slowed considerably in the last two months. After a horrible surge after the winter holidays, yesterday new COVID-19 cases rose 30,980 to 33,238,422. That daily pace is a drop of well over a third since earlier in the year. Deaths rose 655 yesterday to 594,188. No one could have imagined early in 2020 that U.S. deaths would eventually reach 600,000. Even with the rapid spread of the disease in India and other large nations. U.S. deaths account for 17% of the world’s total.
Vaccinations have been critical to the slowdown. Presently, 49% of Americans have been given at least one dose of vaccine. A total of 38% have been fully vaccinated. A total of 354,914,965 doses have been delivered. Of these 281,595,351 have been given, or 79%. Vermont has done the best job of vaccinating its population so far. Sixty-seven percent of its residents have been given at least one shot. Fifty percent have been fully vaccinated. The state that has lagged the most is Mississippi, where only 33% of the population has been given at least one shot and only 26% have been fully vaccinated.
The U.S. has begun to “open up” considerably. The CDC has significantly loosened mask rules. Many businesses and schools have started to completely reopen. Some public health officials and epidemiologists worry that variants may change the course of the disease if new ones spread more rapidly as has been the situation in India.
The effects of the disease still vary considerably from place to place. One way experts show this is deaths and cases per 100,000 which allows smaller areas based on populations to be compared with larger ones. This method is applied to be states and counties.
The county in America with the worst death rate per 100,000 based on the last 14 days is Logan ND, where the figure is 7.41. In contrast, the county with the second-worst figure is Dunklin County MO at 6.57.
Logan County’s population is only 1,927. The population is almost 95% White. With a median household income of $59,375, it is well below the national average. its poverty rate, at 13.2% is above the national figure.
Logan County is located east of Bismark toward Fargo and the border with Minnesota.