The number of new cases of COVID-19 in the United States fell 23 percent last week, and the number of coronavirus hospitalizations fell 16 percent.
Both indicators are declining for the fifth consecutive week.
However, progress in the fight against the virus is threatened by several new strains, experts said, noting that wearing masks and maintaining social distance is still necessary.
About 4 percent of cases in the country are associated with the more infectious variant, which was first discovered in the UK, said the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
“We have predictions that it could become the dominant strain by the end of March,” she said on CBS’s Face the Country program.
More than 639,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the country in the week of February 7-14, according to a Reuters tally based on state and county reports.
Compared to the previous week, the number of new cases rose in only three of the 50 states: Alaska, Nebraska and South Dakota.