As of Sunday, new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. dropped to a seven-day average of 87,845, the lowest number since November 2, more than three months ago.
The data comes from Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, and shows that new case numbers in most other countries around the world are also falling.
Under 65,000 new cases were reported on Monday, Forbes reported, but that number could have been lower because of the President’s Day holiday and because of ice storms impacting 14 states that may be preventing people from getting tested if they do have symptoms.
The likely reasons for the declining average numbers include an increased number of people who have been vaccinated, a lower rate of testing, or seasonal patterns of the virus, which tend to decrease as winter goes on.
Vaccine numbers increasing
Around 27 million Americans have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, and 14 million have had both doses.
The Biden administration just inked a deal to buy 200 million more doses of vaccine by July, and is increasing the number of vaccine doses to states to 13.6 million per week, which is a 57% increase from the week he took office.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that all people who want to get a vaccine should have it available by April, but shortages currently persist.
In addition, 14 states have had widespread ice storms this week that have caused vaccine distributions to be canceled due to the bad weather. These cancellations are only temporary and should end within just a day or two.
Will numbers spike again?
Officials are not sure whether the lower numbers will last because of new variants of the virus that are more contagious than the strains currently prevalent in the U.S. now.
Deaths are slowly declining along with new cases, but generally lag several weeks behind new case trends.
Hospitalizations are declining faster than deaths, and are at around half of their peak of 132,000 around January 2, Forbes said.
The vaccines currently being given in the U.S. protect recipients nearly 100% against severe disease that would lead to hospitalization or death, which could help new case numbers and hospitalizations remain lower even if the new variants lead to a new wave of infections.