Covid-19 remains risky for some patients, particularly the elderly and immunocompromised, doctors said. But built-up immunity from vaccines and prior infections are helping most of the population avoid severe illness, according to public-health experts. The U.S. plans to lift its Covid-19 public-health emergency on May 11.
“The vast majority of people who come in contact with this virus at this point in time are not going to be hugely debilitated from it,” said Dr. Jodie Guest, senior vice chair of the epidemiology department at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.
The latest weekly data show health departments around the U.S. reported 1,052 deaths for the week ended April 26, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This caps several weeks where reports have come in below a prior low of about 1,700 reached during a summer week nearly two years ago.
Less complete recent data from states—some have scaled back Covid-19 reporting—make it harder to compare numbers over time and to determine exactly when the U.S. reaches a new low on reported deaths. Recent numbers are incomplete because several states including Florida haven’t recently reported data to the CDC, the agency said.
Death certificates that provide a more complete picture also indicate the U.S. is hovering near new lows. However, they are lagging data that take longer to compile than health-department reports. The tally from death certificates, which are based on instances where Covid-19 is the underlying or contributing cause of death, is based on the date on which people died.
The CDC may know by early May, once death-certificate data arrives from more states, whether tallies from early this month marked a new low, a spokesman said. The CDC says the lowest number of recorded Covid-19 deaths occurred during the week ended April 23, 2022: 1,348, or about 193 a day.