The United States is now averaging under 50,000 daily new cases of the coronavirus, according to new data from John Hopkins University.
While the daily figure is still sizeable, the country was averaging nearly 250,000 daily new cases for several weeks between November 2020 and January 2021 and has not seen figures this low since October 2020.
As Axios reports, the decline comes as between 10 to 20 percent of the country has received a coronavirus vaccination and, while the downward trend is a good sign, health officials are continuing to warn people to exercise caution.
“All this is good news,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky, before reminding people to wear masks and socially distance when they can to combat the further spread of the coronavirus.
“Our actions this week represent a first step, not our final destination,” she added per the report.
According to the CDC director, the country is at a “critical point in this pandemic and on the cusp of having enough vaccines to protect every adult.”
They will also continue to prioritize getting the daily figures as low as they can.
“We ask for your patience in practicing prudent prevention measures for just a while longer,” she added.
These precautions will remain in place until at least through the summer, according to President Joe Biden, NBC News reports:
Biden, in his first primetime address to the nation, also set a goal for Americans to be able to gather in person with their friends and loved ones in small groups to celebrate the Fourth of July.
Biden delivered the announcements on the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, reflecting with anguish on its devastation while offering hope that better days could soon be coming — if Americans don’t get complacent.
“If we all do our part, this country will be vaccinated soon, our economy will be on the mend, our kids will be back in school, and we’ll have proven once again that this country can do anything,” Biden said per the report.
“If we don’t stay vigilant, and the conditions change, then we may have to reinstate restrictions to get back on track,” the president continued. “And please, we don’t want to do that again. We’ve made so much progress. This is not the time to let up.”
“Just as we were emerging from the dark winter into a hopeful spring and summer, [now] is not the time to not stick with the rules,” he cautioned.