Coming off the heals of a surge that exceeded some of the most dire predictions, new cases of COVID-19 are beginning to decline in the United States. There were an average of 42.4 new daily cases of the virus for every 100,000 Americans over the past week, down from an average of 50.4 new daily cases per 100,000 the week before.
Nationwide, the average number of new daily infections has increased in two states, decreased in 48, and remained effectively unchanged in none over the past week.
In total, there have been about 25,962,000 documented cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States since the first known infection was identified in Washington state on Jan. 21, 2020.
Though the first case of the virus in the United States was on the West Coast, the early epicenter of the outbreak was on the other side of the country, in New York City. In the months since, the parts of the country hit hardest by the virus shifted to the Southeast, the Midwest, and California.
The current decrease in cases nationwide is being driven disproportionately by Arizona and Rhode Island, the two states where the average number of new daily cases is declining the fastest on a per capita basis.
To date, North Dakota has had the highest number of COVID-19 cases per capita of any state, at 12,867 for every 100,000 people. Nationwide, there has been a total of 7,935 cases per 100,000 people.
All COVID-19 data used in this story are current as of Feb. 2, 2021.