Here's what's happening Friday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:
VACCINES: Nearly 54.1 million people, or 16.3% of the U.S. population, have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the CDC Some 27.7 million people have completed their vaccination, or 8.4% of the population.
CASES: The seven-day rolling average for daily new cases in the U.S. decreased from 72,418 on Feb. 18 to 61,968 on Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University
DEATHS: The seven-day rolling average for daily new deaths in the U.S. decreased from 1,942 on Feb. 18 to 1,774 on Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
POSITIVITY RATE: The seven-day rolling test positivity rate in the U.S. decreased from 5.2 on Feb. 18 to 4.2 on Thursday, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project. The three states with the highest rates of positive coronavirus tests: Idaho (24.8%), Alabama (19.8%) and Iowa (19.3%). Idaho's rate rose in the past two weeks from 21.2% to 24.8%.
THREE THINGS TO KNOW TODAY:
— President Joe Biden has a 60% approval rating for his job performance and even more backing from Americans for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
— As the U.S. prioritizes teachers nationwide for coronavirus vaccines, states and many districts are not keeping track of how many school employees have received the shots.
— New York officials confirmed reports that members of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s COVID-19 task force altered a state Health Department report to omit the full number of nursing home deaths but insisted the changes were made because of accuracy concerns.
QUOTABLE: “Congress must pass the American Rescue Plan now so we can get Americans back to work.” — White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki noting slow job gains among Hispanic and Black Americans.
ON THE HORIZON: More than 27 million Americans fully vaccinated against the coronavirus are awaiting guidance from federal health officials on next steps. “I’d say the most common question I get is ‘Can I visit my grandchildren?’” says Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University.
Find AP’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic