COVID hospitalizations now at pre-Thanksgiving levels; cases continue to plummet

Cases appear to have peaked in early January.
Healthcare workers amid the COVID pandemic
Healthcare workers amid the COVID pandemic

COVID cases and hospitalizations are continuing on a six-week plunge, dropping to levels last seen before Thanksgiving and offering hope after major surges in positive test results. 

On Friday there were about 71,500 Americans hospitalized with positive COVID tests, according to the COVID Tracking Project. The last time that number was so low was on Nov. 15.

The number of daily cases on Friday, meanwhile, was just over 100,000, about the level it was on Oct. 30. 

Daily deaths appear to have plateaued over that time, according to COVID Tracking, potentially signaling that deaths may soon follow cases and hospitalizations downward. 

The U.S. has been testing, on average, well over 1.5 million Americans per day since mid-November.