Sumary of Rate of new COVID-19 cases in the US slows to lowest levels seen since early summer:
- The number of COVID-19 cases is continuing to rise, but the rate of increase has significantly slowed to the lowest levels since early summer – a sign that the fourth wave is finally ebbing.
- On Thursday, officials recorded 145,081 new cases of the virus with a seven-day rolling average of 150,356, a 21 percent increase from the average of 123,748 recorded in mid-August, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
- The figure is a far cry from last month, when COVID-19 cases were surging by as much as 286 percent over a four-week period.
- A total of 1,926 virus-related fatalities were recorded on Thursday with a seven-day rolling average of 1,511, which is a 186 percent jump from the 528 average reported in mid-August.
- It comes as President Joe Biden introduced on Thursday night sweeping Covid vaccination mandates for federal employees, contractors and businesses of more than 100 people, affecting more than 80 million American workers.
- Businesses will have the option to mandate vaccination for workers or require weekly testing while federal government employees and contractors will have no testing option and will be fired unless they get the shot.
- Hospitals in several states say they have had to ration care because they are trying to treat not just Covid patients but also those coming in for other ailments.
- ‘Before Covid, our ICUs were pretty busy,’ Dr Amy Compton-Phillips, chief clinical officer of Providence Health System in Seattle, told CNN.