As Covid-19 Cases Surge, Daily Deaths and the Case Fatality Rate Continue to Fall

Expanded testing, a younger mix of patients, and improved treatment help explain the seemingly contradictory trends.

by Jacob Sullum

As COVID-19 cases surge in the United States, both daily deaths and the crude case fatality rate continue to decline. There are several plausible explanations for those seemingly contradictory trends, including expanded testing that identifies more mild cases, a younger mix of patients, and improved treatment.

Nationwide, the number of newly identified COVID-19 cases hit a record high of more than 57,000 on July 2, up from fewer than 20,000 on Memorial Day. That number had dropped to 44,530 as of yesterday. During that same period, the number of daily deaths, which peaked at 2,749 on April 21, fell from 636 to 251.

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