By David Hall
Newly reported coronavirus cases in the U.S. declined, as President Biden moved up the timeline for broadening vaccination eligibility.
The U.S. reported more than 61,000 new cases for Tuesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University that was published early Wednesday. The data may update later. Not all states report data on new cases daily. Tuesday’s figure was lower than Monday’s revised tally of 77,794, when several states resumed reporting data after the Easter weekend.
The seven-day average, which smooths out irregularities in data reporting, was 64,662 on Monday, while the 14-day average was 65,224, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. When the seven-day average is lower than the 14-day average, it indicates cases are declining. Monday was the first time that had happened since March 23.
The country reported 896 Covid-19 fatalities for Tuesday, bringing the total death toll to more than 556,500, according to Johns Hopkins data.
Vaccination programs across the U.S. continued to make progress. About 19% of people in the U.S. are now fully vaccinated, with an average of 3 million doses administered each day over the past week, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Vaccination levels vary by state. In New Mexico, 26.3% of residents are fully vaccinated, while in Georgia, the figure is 13.4%, according to CDC data.
On Tuesday, President Biden said that all U.S. adults should be eligible for vaccines by April 19, speeding up a timeline he set out last month, and he urged Americans to be patient and take precautions as the rollout continued and new variants spread. Every state has said it would meet that timeline. Mr. Biden had previously called for states and territories to make all adults eligible for the shots by May 1. He put an emphasis Tuesday on calling for seniors, who are most vulnerable to severe disease, to get vaccinated. He also said the U.S. has surpassed 150 million shots since he took office.
California plans to fully reopen its economy on June 15 assuming there is enough supply of vaccine for everyone ages 16 and older and Covid-19 hospitalizations remain low. At a press conference Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said getting the vaccine out quickly was the key to reopening. So far, the state has administered more than 20 million doses. The Democrat said he expected that number would reach 30 million by the end of this month. Buoyed by the vaccine rollout, California is now seeing an average of five new cases a week per 100,000 residents, down from a peak of more than 100 in January.