The U.S. is experiencing a decline in daily COVID-19 deaths after a two-month steady increase to mid-September, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A seven-day moving average indicates a 12% decline over the last approximate two weeks, from 1,630 on Sept. 21 to 1,428 on Oct. 5, per the latest available figures. Nevertheless, the country logged a grim milestone late Friday when U.S. death toll from COVID-19 eclipsed 700,000.
Also, as of Sept. 25, the death rate among adults ages 75 and older continued to exceed all other age groups at 2.09 per 100,000, whereas the rate for adults ages 65-74, 50-64 and 40-49 was 0.97, 0.44 and 0.23, respectively. The rate continued to decline and level off among younger populations ages 30-39 at 0.10 and a steady 0.02 among people ages 12-29, before hitting zero among kids under 11.
Americans over age 65 are tied with the highest uptake of at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, at over 97% for adults ages 65-74, and about 92% for those 75 and older.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, noted the current “fairly constant” seven-day average of COVID-19 deaths, at around 1,400, at the Oct. 6 White House COVID-19 briefing. Walensky also warned of a potentially severe flu season this year, noting concern among experts of reduced population-level immunity against the seasonal flu owing to masking and distancing during the pandemic.
“An increase in flu infections and flu severity could put an additional burden on our health care system and increase stress on our nation’s healthcare workers,” Walensky said, reiterating flu vaccination recommendations for everyone 6 months or older.
“Just like with COVID-19, we need as many people as possible to be vaccinated for influenza so that we can provide protection for those who are at most risk,” including adults over 65, people with chronic health conditions and children, especially kids under age 5.
Walensky encouraged vaccinations against COVID-19 and the flu among eligible populations who have yet to receive shots. Federal figures indicate over 76% of Americans over age 12 have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and about 66% are fully vaccinated.