Emily Elconin | Reuters
The seven-day average of new infections is around 26,000 as of Sunday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. This is the lowest figure since June of last year.
The decline in cases is an encouraging sign, especially as many Americans plan to travel, spend days at the beach, and get together with friends and family during the summer. It is the latest in a series of milestones that signal a reopening of the economy and a gradual return to a more typical way of life.
Covid cases have fallen as more people across the country get vaccinated. About 49% of the U.S. population has received at least one shot of the vaccine, and 39% of the population is fully vaccinated on Saturday, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among those 18 and older, 61% are at least partially vaccinated, according to the CDC.
Retailers, including Target, Walmart and Macy’s, said this week that consumer purchases reflect people becoming more mobile and social again. They said a growing number of customers have returned to stores to browse or purchase merchandise they previously ignored, from new outfits to teeth whitening.
The CDC’s new public health recommendations also ushered in a change earlier this month for Americans who had worn masks for months. The federal agency said fully vaccinated people do not need to cover their faces in most indoor and outdoor environments. This has prompted many retailers and some states, including New York City, to drop mask requirements for those vaccinated and align with the new policy.