Coronavirus deaths also fell from the previous week to an average of 658 daily deaths, the same as in July.
New cases of COVID-19 al United States declined for the third week in a row, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), amid a slowdown in vaccination rates that officials worry could hamper efforts to achieve herd immunity.
According to data collected by CDC, the country on Monday recorded a weekly average of 52,528 new cases, 16.2% less than the previous week.
Deaths from COVID-19 also fell 8.2 percent from the previous week, to an average of 658 deaths daily, at the same level as the number of deaths in July last year.
Nearly a third of the U.S. population has been completely vaccinated and just over 43% have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC.
But there are concerns about a recent drop in vaccination rates, which fell 10 percent from the previous week.
Asked when the nation could achieve herd immunity, President Joe Biden said Monday: “I think by the end of the summer we will be in a very different position than we are now … My request to everyone: vaccinate- you now, please. ”
More than 32 million Americans have contracted COVID-19 since the virus began spreading last year and more than 577,000 died, the highest figure in the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
But a recent decline in infection rates has caused some state and local leaders to reduce some coronavirus-related restrictions.
On Monday, the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced they would lift most capacity restrictions on businesses, including retail stores, food services and gyms, starting May 19th.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the decision was based on a steady decline in the positive rate of COVID-19 testing and hospitalizations.
The percentage of New Yorkers who tested positive for coronavirus fell 50 percent in the past month and hospitalizations dropped nearly 40 percent over the same period, he said Monday.
“New Yorkers have made great strides,” Cuomo said. “It’s time to readjust the decision made on science and data.”
Amusement parks, salons and offices are among the other businesses that will soon cease to be subject to state-imposed capacity restrictions, although all companies can still set their own restrictions.
“We were able to announce the removal of business restrictions due to a national vaccine distribution program that benefits all Connecticut residents and our neighbors in New York and New Jersey,” said Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont , in a joint statement with Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.
The May 19 reopening in New York provides a plan that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio outlined a few days ago to completely reopen the city on July 1st.
Also Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he was signing an executive order that overturned and suspended all local COVID-19 emergency orders, saying widespread vaccination made it safe.