Good news: COVID-19 cases nationally drop below 100K for first time in 2021

The number of new daily coronavirus cases has dropped below 100,000 for the first time this year, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Just under 87,000 cases were recorded in the U.S. on Feb. 7. The last time Johns Hopkins recorded fewer than 100,000 daily cases was on Nov. 2.

Deaths are also down, according to data kept by The New York Times. It recorded 1,301 deaths on Sunday, compared to 4,101 deaths on Jan. 27 and 4,406 on Jan. 12. The seven-day average still shows more than 3,000 people dying every day.

Both case numbers and total deaths across the country can vary based on different reporting methods by states and local communities.

Cases in the United States shot up in November and December as people moved indoors because of the colder weather, and as families and friends gathered for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The number of cases peaked in early January and have been dropping steadily ever since. But it is far above any level experts would consider a goal. It is still higher than the peak of cases over the summer, for example, which was around 75,000 cases per day.