George Russell in Hong Kong
US states reported 215,000 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday and at least 3,695 deaths, according to a leading data index.
While the number of cases continues to decline in the Midwest, reported deaths are still more than three times higher than in October, the Covid Tracking Project reported.
The fatalities are 50 percent higher than the worst of the northern spring in the region, it added.
CTP said the number of new cases and hospitalizations is at “very high absolute levels”, but that both measures have “leveled off” in all regions.
On Saturday, California announced 40,622 new cases and an additional 669 deaths.
Texas recorded 20,530 and 381 deaths, while New York State discovered 19,469 new cases and 206 deaths.
With more than 2 million tests taken on Saturday, the seven-day test average for tests is at an all-time high, CTP said.
The CTP said data would be disrupted in the coming week due to the Martin Luther King holiday on Monday and the presidential inauguration on Wednesday.
A woman wears a mask at a political rally in Denver
“Some states have already announced future delays in reporting,” CTP said last weekend.
Last week, the CTP demanded that the US government release more data to provide a clearer picture of the pandemic.
“Demographics of many states are astonishingly incomplete,” Erin Kissane, co-founder of CTP, and Alice Goldfarb, who heads the CTP Racial Data Tracker, wrote in The Atlantic.
“Even widely collected information, such as the age of patients at the time of diagnosis or death, is presented so inconsistently that it was impossible to form a clear national picture,” they added.
The project has also asked for more detailed vaccination data.
“The [US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] publishes data on vaccine distribution and first doses administered – which is a good starting point – but it has not yet released demographics, ”wrote Ms Kissane and Ms Goldfarb.