Wash Post: The summer surge of U.S. coronavirus cases has started to ebb after exposing the grave danger the virus still poses in areas where large swaths of the population lack immunity.
A nationwide decline in new infections and hospitalizations is fueled by sharp drops in Southern states that were hit hard by the highly contagious delta variant. Hospital admissions nationwide crested above a weekly average of 100,000 in early September and are still at levels not seen since the winter, before vaccines were widely available. New infections plateaued in the first half of September, averaging above 150,000 daily, and are now on track to slip below 100,000. But more people infected in the latest surge are expected to die in the days and weeks ahead, with the death toll on the brink of surpassing 700,000 — roughly equivalent to the population of the District of Columbia. The country has already hit the grim milestone of losing 1 in 500 residents to the virus.