IF YOU ARE FULLY VACCINATED
CDC has updated its guidance for people who are fully vaccinated. See Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.
IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR SCHOOLS
CDC recommends schools continue to use the current COVID-19 prevention strategies for the 2020-2021 school year. Learn more
Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more
Covid Tracker Weekly Review

Summer, Sun, and Safe Fun

Updated May 21, 2021
Subscribe to the Weekly Review

Interpretive Summary for May 21, 2021   

Summer, Sun, and Safe Fun


COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are going down, and the number of people vaccinated continues to go up, providing a sense of optimism as summer approaches. As of May 20, 48.4% of the U.S. population ages 18 years and older is fully vaccinated, and 60.5% have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, as of last week, millions more are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. These trends and new CDC evidence-based guidance on masking provide encouragement that we are making progress toward returning to a sense of normalcy.

As you look ahead to summer, consider how COVID-19 is spreading in your community when choosing activities. Outdoor activities and visits are safer than those indoors, but fully vaccinated people can participate in most indoor activities without much risk. If you are not yet vaccinated, you should continue to practice prevention strategies such as wearing a well-fitted mask, practicing physical distancing, avoiding crowds, and washing your hands.

For more than a year, many people have focused on staying safe from COVID-19. While this continues to be important, returning to regular activities when you are fully vaccinated, such as travel, events, and other social gatherings, can provide hope for the days ahead. In addition, taking simple actions such as deep breathing, physical activity, healthy eating, practicing good sleep habits, and safely connecting with family, friends, and neighbors can improve your well-being.

Reported Cases

The current 7-day moving average of daily new cases (27,789) decreased 19.5% compared with the previous 7-day moving average (34,502). Compared with the highest peak on January 8, 2021 (252,768), the current 7-day average decreased 89.0%. A total of 32,855,010 COVID-19 cases have been reported as of May 19.

32,855,010
Total Cases Reported

27,789
Current 7-Day Average*

34,502
Prior 7-Day Average

-19.5%
Change in 7-Day Average since Prior Week 

*Historical cases are excluded from daily new cases and 7-day average calculations until they are incorporated into the dataset for the applicable date. Of 85,596 historical cases reported retroactively, 246 were reported on the most recent submission date; 1,918 in the current week; and 1,461 were reported in the prior week.

Note: In the above table, historical data with missing report dates are excluded from current and prior 7-day averages, and the percent change in the 7-day average.

Daily Trends in COVID-19 Cases in the United States Reported to CDC

red line

7-Day moving average

Chart showing Daily Trends in COVID-19 Cases in the United States Reported to CDC

SARS-CoV-2 Variants

Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 are circulating globally and within the United States. To date, five variants have been classified as a variant of concern (VOC). Nowcast estimates* of SARS-CoV-2 cases caused by these VOCs for the two weeks ending May 8 are summarized here. Nationally, B.1.1.7 proportions are predicted to increase to 74%; P.1 proportions are predicted to increase to 7%; B.1.427/B.1.429 proportions are predicted to increase; and B.1.351 proportions are predicted to decrease. Nowcast estimates predict that B.1.1.7 proportions will increase to more than 60% in all but HHS region 1. B.1.351 is predicted to increase in regions 3, 4, 9, and 10; P.1 is predicted to increase in all regions; and B.1.427/429 will be highest in regions 9 and 10. B.1.617.2, a new variant of interest, is predicted to be highest in regions 1, 6, 8, and 9.

*Current nowcast estimates are modeled data based on sequencing data from previous weeks. Nowcast provides timely estimates for the present, while accounting for limited sequence data availability, as specimens from the most current time interval are still being processed.

SARS-CoV-2 Variants Circulating in the United States

stacked bar chart with percentages of different strains of COVID-19
Map of the United States showing Emerging Variant Cases in the United States More Variants Data

Testing

The percentage of COVID-19 NAATs (nucleic acid amplification tests) that are positive (percent positivity) has decreased from the previous week. The 7-day average of percent positivity from tests is now 3.0%. The 7-day average number of tests reported for May 7-May 13 was 1,007,699, down 9.4% from 1,112,391 for the prior 7 days.

437,214,993
Total Tests Reported

437,214,993
Total Tests Reported

1,007,699
7-Day Average Tests Reported

3.0%
7-Day Average % Positivity

437,214,993
Total Tests Reported

3.4%
Previous 7-Day Average % Positivity

-12.6%
Change in 7-Day Average % Positivity since Prior Week

COVID-19 NAAT Laboratory Test 7-day Percent Positivity by State/Territory

COVID-19 NAAT Laboratory Test 7-day Percent Positivity by State/Territory

Vaccinations

The U.S. COVID-19 Vaccination Program began December 14, 2020. As of May 20, 279.4 million vaccine doses have been administered. Overall, about 160.2 million people, or 48.2% of the total U.S. population, have received at least one dose of vaccine. About 126.6 million people, or 38.1% of the total U.S. population, have been fully vaccinated.* As of May 20, the 7-day average number of administered vaccine doses reported to CDC per day was 1.8 million, a 12.5% decrease from the previous week.

The COVID Data Tracker Vaccination Demographic Trends tab shows vaccination trends by age group. As of May 19, 84.9% of people ages 65 or older have received at least one dose of vaccine and 73.2% are fully vaccinated. Over half (60.5%) of people ages 18 or older have received at least one dose of vaccine and 48.4% are fully vaccinated.

279,397,250
Vaccines Administered

160,177,820
People who received at least one dose

126,605,166
People who are fully vaccinated*

48.2%
Percentage of the US population that has received at least one dose

38.1%
Percentage of the US population that has been fully vaccinated*

+1.6
Percentage point increase from last week

+2.3
Percentage point increase from last week

*People who are fully vaccinated represents the number of people who have received the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or one dose of the single-shot J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.

Daily Change in Number of COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States Reported to CDC

red line

7-Day moving average

Chart showing Daily Change in Total Number of COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States Reported to CDC

Hospitalizations

New Hospital Admissions

The current 7-day average for May 12–May 18 was 3,438. This is a 15.1% decrease from the prior 7-day average (4,051) from May 5–May 11. The 7-day moving average for new admissions has been consistently decreasing since April 19.

2,202,437
Total New Admissions

3,438
Current 7-Day Average

4,051
Prior 7-Day Average

-15.1%
Change in 7-Day Average

Daily Trends in Number of New COVID-19 Hospital Admissions in the United States

Daily Trends in Number of New COVID-19 Hospital Admissions in the United States

New admissions are pulled from a 10 am EST snapshot of the HHS Unified Hospital Timeseries Dataset. Due to potential reporting delays, data from the most recent 7 days, as noted in the figure above with the grey bar, should be interpreted with caution. Small shifts in historic data may also occur due to changes in the CMS Provider of Services file, which is used to identify the cohort of included hospitals.

COVID-NET: Recent Trends in Hospitalizations in Non-Hispanic Black Persons

Since the start of the pandemic, people from racial and ethnic minority groups have been at increased risk for COVID-19-associated hospitalizations compared to non-Hispanic White persons. While rates of hospitalizations have fallen in all race and ethnicity groups since January 2021, the hospitalization rate for non-Hispanic Black persons remains higher than other groups and has been nearly twice as high as rates in non-Hispanic White persons since late January. After falling in January and February 2021, hospitalization rates increased again in all groups beginning in early March. The weekly rate of hospitalizations for non-Hispanic Black persons reached 17.3 per 100,000 population for the week ending April 17, double the rate for non-Hispanic White persons (7.9 per 100,000 population for the same week). While preliminary data for late April and early May show rates again decreasing for all groups, the hospitalization rate in non-Hispanic Black persons remains one of the highest.

Trends in Hospitalizations by Race/Ethnicity*

Trends in Hospitalizations in Children Ages 5-17 Years

*Only White, Black, and Hispanic/Latino groups were included in this figure. Additional race/ethnicity groups can be viewed by selecting Weekly Rates by Race/Ethnicity at the More COVID-NET Data link.

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)-Associate­­d Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET) is an additional source for hospitalization data collected through a network of more than 250 acute-care hospitals in 14 states (representing ~10% of the U.S. population). Detailed data on patient demographics, including race/ethnicity, underlying medical conditions, medical interventions, and clinical outcomes, are  collected using a standardized case reporting form.

More COVID-NET Data

Deaths

The current 7-day moving average of new deaths (498) decreased 10.5% compared with the previous 7-day moving average (556). As of May 19, a total of 584,975 COVID-19 deaths have been reported.

584,975
Total Deaths Reported

498
Current 7-Day Average*

556
Prior 7-Day Average

-10.5%
Change in 7-Day Average Since Prior Week

*Historical deaths are excluded from the daily new deaths and 7-day average calculations until they are incorporated into the dataset by their applicable date. Of 11,165 historical deaths reported retroactively, 182 were reported for the most recent submission date; 223 in the current week; and 6 were reported in the prior week.

Note:  In the above table, historical data with missing report dates are excluded from current and prior 7-day averages, and the percent change in the 7-day average.

Daily Trends in Number of COVID-19 Deaths in the United States Reported to CDC

red line

7-Day moving average

Chart showing Daily Trends in Number of COVID-19 Deaths in the United States Reported to CDC
More Death Data

Recent COVID Data Tracker Updates