The number of deaths in the U.S. from the Coronavirus dropped to its lowest level last week since the start of April, as health experts say a continued decline in cases from New York - and no new major outbreaks in other urban areas - has slowed the spread of the virus.
"In most states the number of cases are either declining or flat," said Scott Gottlieb, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration, as he said the data shows 'evidence of an epidemic that slowed dramatically.'
The death toll remains substantial. There were 9,260 reported deaths in the U.S. last week, well off the high of nearly 15,000 in the final full week of April.
But even with the slowing number of deaths, federal health officials expect the U.S. will reach 100,000 deaths by the end of this month.
The Centers for Disease Control reported in recent days that visits to doctors and emergency rooms which are likely related to the Coronavirus are also declining, 'likely in part a result of widespread efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.'
But while those numbers are declining, medical experts are also wondering what might be next, especially as businesses re-open, and states relax their virus restrictions.
"This is an interesting question with no straightforward answer," wrote Dr. Bertha Hidalgo of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Public Health.
"In some cases, states are reopening where we are starting to see a decrease in rates of infection. In other cases, states are reopening and case and death counts continue to increase," Hidalgo said.
One of the states seeing higher case numbers in recent days was Texas, but it's too early to tell whether that is just a function of more people being tested, or if there is an actual surge of new cases.
On Saturday, Texas had its highest day of new virus cases yet, at 1,801 - but about one-third of those came from a meatpacking plant outbreak in Amarillo.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.
With the largest team in the state, the AJC reports what’s really going on with your tax dollars and your elected officials. Subscribe today. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.
Your subscription to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.