COVID case rates continued to free-fall over the last two weeks, with most states now seeing “moderate” levels of transmission.

The big picture: The corresponding lifting of mask and other mandates is leading companies to start to set return to work dates.

By the numbers: Nationwide, the U.S. is now averaging roughly 82,000 new COVID cases per day — a 64% drop over the past two weeks.

  • The nation is averaging 25 new cases per 100,000 per day, falling right in the middle of what the CDC categorizes as “moderate transmission.”
  • Only six states (excluding Maine due to data anomalies) have 50 or more cases per 100,000, meaning they have “substantial” transmission.
  • Only one state, Washington, has reached transmission considered “low” at six cases per 100,000 people.

Yes, but: There still are roughly 2,000 deaths from COVID in the U.S. a day, down 24% from two weeks ago.

  • And several states have case rates that remain stubbornly high.
  • Idaho and Kentucky saw cases drop 22% and 37% respectively, but still had at least 77 cases per 100,000 people. Alaska’s cases dropped 65% over the last two weeks and its case rate was still at 75 cases per 100,000.

What to watch: The spread of an even more transmissible Omicron subvariant has raised lingering concerns we might not be done with Omicron surges just yet.

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