The United States reached its latest heartbreaking pandemic milestone Friday, eclipsing 700,000 deaths from COVID-19 just as the surge from the delta variant is starting to slow down and give overwhelmed hospitals some relief.
It took three and half months for the US to go from 600,000 to 700,000 deaths, driven by the variant’s rampant spread through unvaccinated Americans. The death toll is larger than the population of Boston.
Despite the rising death toll, there are signs of improvement.
Nationwide, the number of people now in the hospital with COVID-19 has fallen to somewhere around 75,000 from over 93,000 in early September. New cases are on the downswing at about 112,000 per day on average, a drop of about one-third over the past 2 1/2 weeks.
Deaths, too, appear to be declining, averaging about 1,900 a day versus more than 2,000 about a week ago.