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Five figures on COVID-19 in the United States

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Though daily life has long returned to near-normal for many in the United States, the official end of the COVID-19 health emergency Thursday night still marks a new post-pandemic era for the country.

Here are five key statistics about the pandemic in the United States, which has seen the most coronavirus deaths—in absolute numbers—of any country in the world.

Three years of health emergency

A state of emergency was first declared in the United States in January 2020, more than three years ago.

Authorities have spent months preparing for its eventual May 11 end.

COVID vaccines and treatments, such as anti-viral drug Paxlovid, will mostly remain covered under public and private health insurance plans after the emergency ends, though policies for reimbursing test purchases vary.

Other anti-COVID health measures were wrapped up this month as well, including requirements for US officials and foreign visitors arriving by air.

More than 100 million cases

US have recorded more than 104 million COVID cases since the virus began spreading in the country.

But that number is almost certainly an underestimation, especially after the introduction of at-home tests, the results of which are usually not reported to any official count.

The country has seen case numbers ebb and flow several times in the last three years, with the most dramatic wave of infections coming with the arrival of the Omicron variant in the winter of 2022, when there were up to 5.5 million new cases in just one week.

Now, there are around 77,000 new cases registered per week.

1.1 million deaths

More than 1.1 million people have died of COVID in the United States, making it the country with the most known pandemic deaths by absolute numbers.

Elderly people, especially those over 75, are at highest risk.

Currently, about 1,100 people are dying of the novel coronavirus every week in the United States.

670 million vaccine doses

After the first COVID-19 vaccine was granted emergency authorization in December 2020, a gargantuan inoculation campaign was begun.

More than 676 million doses of COVID vaccines have been administered in the United States, according to health authorities, with nearly 70 percent of the population having received a full initial series.

But ongoing adherence to booster schedules and updates has flagged: Only 17 percent of the US population is fully caught up on all available doses.

22 million employees fired... then hired

Beyond health repercussions, the pandemic also had a considerable effect on the American economy.

Between March and April 2020, some 22 million people lost their jobs.

Employment levels only returned to pre-pandemic last summer—nearly two and half years after the emergency began.

© 2023 AFP

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