After weeks of climbing infection rates driven by the delta variant, new cases of COVID-19 may be levelling out in the United States. There were an average of 48.3 new daily cases of the virus for every 100,000 Americans over the past week, down from an average of 55.4 new daily cases per 100,000 the week before.
Nationwide, the average number of new daily infections has increased in 13 states over the past week, declined in 36 states, and remained effectively unchanged in one.
In total, there have been about 38,923,000 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 Louisiana and Mississippi, 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 15,459 for every 100,000 people. Nationwide, there has been a total of 11,897 cases per 100,000 people.
All COVID-19 data used in this story is current as of Sept. 1, 2021. It is important to note that in some states, weekly infection rates may include cases of the virus that occurred earlier but were not previously counted.