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Coronavirus epidemic shows signs of slowdown in Arizona, Texas and Florida

A medical worker collects samples using a nasal swab at the COVID-19 Mobile Test Facility in Miami Beach, Florida, United States on July 24, 2020.

Anadolu Agency Anadolu Agency Getty images

Coronavirus outbreaks in Arizona, Florida and Texas appear to be slowing as more people distance themselves from social distancing and the United States halts resumption of plans.

On Sunday, Arizona reported a 1

3% drop in the seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases, registering 2,627 newly diagnosed cases in the previous 24 hours, down from 3,022 in the previous week, according to a CNBC analysis of data collected by Jones Hopkins University.

The state has also begun to see signs that hospitalizations for Covid-19 may be delayed, according to data collected by the Covid Tracking Project, a volunteer group founded by journalists from The Atlantic magazine. As of Sunday, coronavirus hospitalizations also fell by about 14% from the previous week to a seven-day average of 2,919.

Cases in Texas fell nearly 19 percent the previous week, with about 8,404 new daily cases prevailing, based on a seven-day moving average on Sunday, according to a CNBC analysis. Since its peak in the average daily new cases on July 20, out of 10,572, their number has slightly decreased. CNBC uses a seven-day average to calculate trends in Covid-19 because it smooths out discrepancies and gaps in status data.

Although Texas is showing signs that its new infections are starting to slow, it reached record highs with average hospitalizations of 10,840 patients with Covid-19 on Sunday. On the same day, the state broke a grim record for an average daily new death rate of 152.

Florida has just begun to see its curve begin to level off after reaching a record high daily average of 11,870 on July 17, according to data from John Hopkins. On Sunday, the state had an average of 10,544 new cases, an 8% decrease from a week ago.

However, the state is still reporting an increase in hospitalizations and deaths as the virus continues to visit densely populated cities in southern Florida.

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Hazard said Monday that officials are beginning to monitor the leveling of cases in severely affected countries because people are “approaching the plate.”

“This is due to the fact that people actually wear masks. They wear masks. They are socially distant. They do good personal hygiene,” Hazard told Fox and Friends.

Dr Scott Gottlieb, a former commissioner for food and medicine, also said on Monday that hotspots in the US Sunbelt area were starting to pay off in the number of new Covid-19 cases.

“Overall, it looks like Arizona, Texas and at least Florida are starting to hit a plateau,” he said in “Box Squawk.” “Arizona seems to be slowly starting to go down the epidemic curve. I think it’s going to be an extended plateau. I think we’re going to hang on to the level of infection we’re at right now.”

However, Gottlieb warned that “even as these countries shrink, other countries appear to be heating up and will thus begin to offset the profits we make in the solar belt.”

For the first time since June 12, the growth rate of the average daily new cases of Covid-19 fell in the United States on Sunday compared to a week ago. Nationwide, there were an average of 65,809 daily new cases on Sunday, down 1.6% from the previous week based on a seven-day moving average.

Although the number of new cases of coronavirus in the United States has been declining in the last few days, this does not provide an accurate picture of the extent of the infection. Weekend reporting from the states is usually delayed, as some cities only publish their numbers on weekdays.

Gottlieb also said some states have not counted their numbers reliably, as the Department of Health and Human Services instructs all hospitals to stop reporting their data to the long-standing National Health Safety Network of the Centers for Disease Control. Instead, hospitals now have to report to HHS through a new portal that went live a week ago.

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and board member of Pfizer, launching genetic testing Tempus and biotechnology company Illumina.

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