Alfresco dining is served at a restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S., April 4, 2021 as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions are eased.
Emily Elconin | Reuters
Covid cases in the US have fallen to their lowest level since June as the nation prepares for Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of the summer travel season.
The seven-day average of new infections is around 26,000 on Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University. That’s the lowest number since June last year.
The decline in falls is a hopeful sign, especially as many Americans plan to travel, spend days on the beach, and hang out with friends and family over the summer. It is the latest in a series of milestones that signal a reopening of the economy and a gradual return to a more typical way of life.
Cases of Covid have decreased as more people are vaccinated across the country. Approximately 49% of the US population have had at least one vaccine, and 39% of the population will be fully vaccinated as of Saturday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the CDC, 61% of those over 18 are at least partially vaccinated.
Retailers including Target, Walmart and Macy’s said this week that consumer purchases are suggesting people are becoming more mobile and social again. They said a growing number of customers have returned to the stores to browse or buy goods they had previously skipped, from new outfits to teeth whitening products.
The CDC’s new public health recommendations earlier this month also led to changes for Americans who have been wearing masks for months. The federal agency said people who are fully vaccinated will not need to cover their face in most indoor and outdoor areas. This caused many retailers and some states, including New York, to drop mask requirements for those vaccinated and adapt to the new policy.