COVID-19 Cases in the United States

COVID-19 cases and death trends have changed dramatically over the last year. During most of 2020, cases of COVID-19 were increasing dramatically in the United States. Now, with increasing vaccinations both new cases and deaths are starting to trend downward following a dramatic peak over the winter. The rapidly changing COVID-19 trends contrasts sharply with other everyday risks that we have become accustomed to, like car crashes, drug overdoses, and falls.

Typically, injury trends change slowly over time. Comparing 2018, to 2019 (latest final data available), motor-vehicle deaths decreased 0.8%, preventable drug overdose deaths increased 5.5%, and fall deaths increased 5.3%. While deaths due to causes like falls and overdoses are spread out fairly evenly throughout the year, the timeline for COVID-19 deaths is compressed. During much of 2020 COVID deaths averaged more than 1,200 a day. Now, with increasing vaccinations the average number of deaths have dropped below 800.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted health and safety in many ways beyond the immediate impact of infections. During 2020 the NSC estimates motor deaths increased 8% even as mileage dropped 13%. The CDC preliminary estimates also show that overdose deaths accelerated during the pandemic.

The number of confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. is estimated to be 377,883 in 2020. This total far exceeds 173,040, the total number of preventable injury death in 2019 (latest official count available). It is likely that when final mortality data is released for 2020, COVID-19 will be third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. Preventable injury death is likely to drop to the fourth leading cause of death behind COVID-19.

NOTE: The estimates shown on this page include cases and deaths that have been identified by public health officials as probable coronavirus patients. Please note that single day spikes in new cases are often a result of state reporting inconsistencies. States periodically report backlogged cases that may result in dramatic one day increases. While exploring the data it is important to look at overall trends instead of single day fluctuations in the data.

To learn more about how to protect yourself, your family, and your coworkers please explore these valuable resources:

Use the interactive map to track COVID-19 in the United States. First, use the “Explore national and state trends” tab (located above the chart, left) to view national trends, state trends, and to compare states. The filters located at the top of the map allow you to view either total cases or new cases, number of cases or rates per 100,000 population, and confirmed cases or deaths. Select a state on the map by clicking on it to view state-wide trends. Next, use the “Explore state and county trends” tab (located above the chart, right), which will allow you to explore trends within a state (i.e., click on a county/city to see historic trends for that location). The data displayed in the map is compiled by the New York Times  and formatted and made available by Tableau.