New virus cases decline in the US and experts credit masks

NEW YORK (AP) — The number of Americans newly diagnosed with the coronavirus is falling — a development experts say most likely reflects more mask-wearing but also insufficient testing — even as the disease continues to claim nearly 1,000 lives in the U.S. each day.

About 43,000 new cases are being reported daily across the country, down 21% from early August, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

While the U.S., India and Brazil still have the highest numbers of new cases in the world, the downward trend is encouraging.

“It’s profoundly hopeful news,” said Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious-diseases expert at the University of California, San Francisco, who credits the American public’s growing understanding of how the virus spreads, more mask-wearing and, possibly, an increasing level of immunity.

“Hopefully all those factors are coming into play to get this virus under control in this country that’s really been battered by the pandemic,” she said.

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