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CDC: Coronavirus, influenza deaths fall for second straight week

The agency warned that those rates could be revised upward.

Published: May 2, 2020 12:13pm

Updated: May 2, 2020 1:36pm

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday said that the number of pneumonia-, influenza- and COVID-19-related deaths had declined for the second week in a row, a welcome sign of a possible turning point in the U.S.'s war against the disease.

In one of the agency's "weekly surveillance summaries" regarding the COVID-19 outbreak here, the CDC said that "based on death certificate data, the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia, influenza or COVID-19 (PIC) decreased from 23.6%" compared to the prior week, though those numbers "remained significantly above baseline." 

The agency also warned the numbers may go up upon revision.

"This is the second week of declines in this indicator, but this percentage may change as death certificates representing recent deaths are processed," the agency said, while suggesting that the declines "may be a result of widespread social distancing measures."

The CDC also noted that the "national percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2" declined significantly at both public, clinical and commercial laboratories around the country. The U.S. tested about a million people over the past week. 

The department said that overall levels of "influenza-like illness" have been "below the national baseline for two weeks," but that they remain elevated in the "northeastern and northwestern part of the country." Four of the hardest-hit states in the country – New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut, – are in the Northeast. 


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