The U.S. reported more than 66,000 new cases for Wednesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and published early Thursday morning Eastern time. That was up from 61,240 a day earlier but down from 86,950 a week earlier.
While dramatically lower than the highs of around 300,000 reached in early January, daily cases are trending higher. The seven-day moving average, which smooths out irregularities in the data, was 66,876 as of Tuesday, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins data. The 14-day average was 60,262. When the seven-day average is higher than the 14-day average, as it has been for the past week, it indicates cases are rising.
Deaths were also up, and appear to be entering an upward trend, with the seven-day average exceeding the 14-day average for two straight days through Tuesday, according to the Journal’s analysis of Johns Hopkins data. There were more than 1,000 deaths reported for Wednesday, up from 875 a day earlier but down from 1,456 a week earlier, Johns Hopkins reported.
The number of vaccinated people is also on the rise, with 16.4% of the U.S. population fully vaccinated and 29.4% having received at least one dose. At the current rate, 75% of people would be vaccinated by June 27. If the current growth rate continues, the U.S. would reach that mark June 16, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Meanwhile, a study from vaccine makers Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE of more than 2,200 children has found that the companies’ Covid-19 vaccine safely protects kids 12 years and older, with 100% efficacy, the companies said.
Though more states are lowering the age of eligibility to receive the vaccine to 30, that hasn’t yet been enough to stem the rise in cases. New York has seen a rise in cases, a day after the state expanded vaccine eligibility to include residents 30 years old and above.
Factors behind the nationwide rise include the age of those vaccinated, as the shots first went to seniors but younger people are more likely to spread infections; the vaccination rollout, which still hasn’t reached enough of the population to prevent outbreaks; and new variants of the disease that have made it more contagious, experts said.
In all, more than 30.4 million cases have been reported in the U.S. and more than 552,000 people have died. World-wide, over 128.9 million cases have been reported and more than 2.8 million people have died.