Coronavirus Update: U.S. COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations fall again, as vaccine reinforcements are coming

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It was a day of good news on the COVID-19 front, as new daily cases, deaths and hospitalizations all fell for a third-straight day, just as vaccine reinforcements were being shipped out.

It wasn’t all good news, however, as global equity markets were spooked by reports out of the U.K. about a new fast-spreading strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19. See Market Snapshot.

The worries of a new strain and surging case numbers led the U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to hold an emergency meeting Monday, as France and a growing list of countries banned travel from the U.K.

But back on the bright side, after being granted emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine late Friday, Moderna Inc. MRNA, +0.04% started shipping its mRNA-1273 out over the weekend. That’s the second weekend in row that a COVID-19 vaccine started being distributed, following Pfizer Inc.’s PFE, -1.39% and BioNTech SE’s BNTX, +1.57% version the week before.

The European Medicines Agency recommended on Monday conditional approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The European Commission was meeting Monday to ratify the EMA’s conditional approval.

In the U.S., 21 states that have publicly reported vaccinations, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University. A total of 144,336 doses were reported to have been administered, led by the 32,707 in Florida and 26,007 in Texas, the data show. JHU said its effort to record vaccinations will expand as more U.S. states make data available and new vaccines are approved.

That news comes as new daily cases of COVID-19 fell to 179,801 on Sunday from 193,947 on Saturday, and down from 251,447 on Friday, according to data provided by the New York Times. The daily death toll was 1,422 on Sunday, down from 2,628 on Saturday and from 2,815 on Friday.

And hospitalizations dropped to 113,63 on Sunday from 113,929 on Saturday and 113,955 on Friday, according to the COVID Tracking Project. That 3-day streak of declines snapped a 12-day streak of record hospitalizations.

Overall, the U.S. has recorded 17,862,876 COVID-19 cases as of midday Monday, and a suffered a total death count of 317,749, JHU data show.

Meanwhile, there were still 48 states that had positivity rates for COVID-19 tests of at least 5.0%, which the World Health Organization deemed a dangerous threshold, according to JHU data. The states with the highest positivity rates were Idaho at 40.8% and South Dakota at 39.1%, while Hawaii at 3.0% and Vermont at 2.0% were the only states with rates below 5.0%. The District of Columbia had a positivity rate of 3.4%.

Global tallies

The number of global confirmed cases of COVID-19 grew to 77,054,995 as of midday Monday, according to JHU data, and the death toll reached 1,697,062. At least 43.5 million people have recovered.

The U.S. was by far the world leader as it accounted for 23.2% of the cases and 18.7% of the deaths.

Brazil had the second most deaths at 186,764 and third most cases at 7,238,600, while India was second in cases at 10,055,560 and third in deaths at 145,810.

Mexico was fourth in deaths at 118,202 and 13th in cases at 1,320,545.

Italy had the fifth most deaths globally, and the most in Europe, at 69,214, and was eighth globally in cases at 1,964,054. The U.K. was sixth with a death toll of 67,718, and moved up to sixth in cases at 2,079,563.

Russia was fourth globally, and led Europe with 2,850,042 cases, and was ninth in deaths at 50,723. Germany was 14th in deaths at 26,508, and was 11th in cases at 1,530,134.

China, where the virus was first discovered late last year, has had 95,135 confirmed cases and 4,764 deaths

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