U.S. Daily Cases Top 1 Million Again, Second-Highest 24-Hour Total Ever, Even As Hospitalizations, Test Positivity Trend Down

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While the 7-day average of new Covid cases in the U.S. is trending down, the daily number of new cases topped 1 million for only the second time in the 733 days since the first infection was reported stateside. Monday numbers posted today by the CDC and Johns Hopkins University came in at 1,140,580 and 1,007,511 new daily cases, respectively. The only other day that compares, according to the CDC was January 10 of this year.

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Johns Hopkins University

Newly-announced Monday numbers are generally skewed either lower or higher by weekend reporting delays. That’s why another day widely reported to have seen 1 million-plus new cases, January 3, no longer appears that high on the CDC’s historical graph of new daily cases. A record number of new cases posted the following Monday, however, has not fallen significantly as those cases were sorted.

On January 10, the United States posted what remains its most daily Covid cases ever, at 1,333,640. It’s also the highest number of new daily cases posted by any country. The 7-day average test positivity rate had peaked on January 8 at a then-record 26.8%.

covid daily cases

An updated, historical graph of daily U.S. Covid cases (in blue)

More recently, the U.S. test positivity rate set a new record of 30.3% on January 21. It’s not surprising, then, that the country again topped 1 million cases three days later. What is surprising is that it did so at a time when the general consensus is that the country is heading out of the surge fostered by Omicron. That’s not inaccurate, either, since test positivity in the country, which in previous peaks has presaged changes in case counts, has dropped rapidly over the past few days.

Monday’s test positivity was 24.3%, according to Johns Hopkins data. That’s a 20% drop in just three days in a number calculated as a rolling average spread over seven days in order create a more indicative trend line. The current trend line is relatively steep and headed downward.


U.S. Covid test positivity over the past 90 days
Johns Hopkins University

Hospitalizations have also begun to fall in many regions of the U.S. The current 7-day average number of Covid-related hospitalizations in the U.S. is 19,754, according to Johns Hopkins. That hospitalizations average hit a peak of 21,606 just last week.

Unfortunately he final lagging data point in infection surges, deaths, has begun to rise as a result of the recent peaks in cases, case rates and hospitalizations. The 7-day rolling average of new, Covid related deaths in the U.S. has risen from a recent low of 759 on November 28 of last year to a current 7-day average of 2,643. See 7-day average trend chart below from the CDC for perspective.

U.S. daily Covid deaths (in blue) and the 7-day average (in red)

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