COVID cases are falling, but US on the brink of 700,000 dead

Coronavirus

FILE – In this Aug. 31, 2021, file photo, Jack Kingsley R.N. attends to a COVID-19 patient in the Medical Intensive care unit (MICU) at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. Idaho public health leaders have activated “crisis standards of care” for the state’s northern hospitals because there are more coronavirus patients than the institutions can handle. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare made the announcement Tuesday, Sept. 7. (AP Photo/Kyle Green, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A decline in COVID-19 cases across the United States over the past several weeks has given overwhelmed hospitals some relief. But administrators are bracing for yet another possible surge as cold weather drives people indoors.

Health experts say the fourth wave of the pandemic has peaked overall in the U.S., particularly in the Deep South, where hospitals were stretched to the limit weeks ago. But many Northern states are still struggling with rising cases, and what’s ahead for winter is far less clear.

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