Turning the corner: US reaching turning point in pandemic 

The U.S. appears to be reaching a turning point in the pandemic, as the country sees sharply declining cases amid an increase in vaccinations providing Americans with a sense of hope.

The country reached its lowest seven-day average for deaths on Monday since July 2020, according to CDC figures, and the average of new cases per day fell below 40,000 for the first time since September.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky during a Tuesday Senate hearing praised the “consistent downward” trends in the average daily COVID-19 cases and deaths since January, at 76 percent and 75 percent, respectively.

“With these cases trending down in the United States and more people getting vaccinated, we are cautiously optimistic. However, globally the pandemic is more severe than ever,” she said.

But there’s still concern: Still, officials are cautioning that turning the corner doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. As health experts and administration officials express hopefulness about vaccinations leading to an end to the pandemic, the U.S. is left to balance a growing impatience to return to normalcy with fewer people now getting vaccinated.