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The U.S. appears to be “turning a corner” in the battle against COVID-19 with cases and deaths dipping as the rate of vaccinations continue to trend upwards. Scientists say they’re hopeful with recent data, even with variants proving the virus is here to stay.

A total of 45,085 new cases were reported yesterday across the nation. A seven-month low before a rise at the end of last year that left thousands of Americans dead. Despite an overwhelming surge of cases in countries like India and Brazil, the U.S. still leads the world with over 579,000 deaths since last March.

Although, there are signs of hope the country is entering a new phase. More businesses are opening to full capacity and people are starting to return to work now more than anytime over the past year. The U.S. could be through the worst of the pandemic by July, if vaccinations continue at high rates and people wear masks and physically distance themselves, according to recent projections by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While all this is speculation and nothing is set in stone, it’s a reminder we’re headed in the right direction.

More than 70% of Americans aged 65 and older are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data published Wednesday. It also shows an average of 2.1 million vaccinations per day over the past week, down from a peak of 3.4 million in mid-April. Which means more people overall are starting to be fully vaccinated.

At the same time, the rate of new infections has fallen. A seven-day average of 46,000 new cases is being reported in the U.S., based on data from Johns Hopkins University, six times less than the rate at the beginning of January.

U.S. COVID cases to the lowest levels in seven months  was originally published on