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Infectious disease experts are noting a plateau in U.S. coronavirus cases and hospitalizations -- though it is far too soon to tie the positive news to ongoing vaccinations.
Instead, experts attribute the decline to the post-holiday season, as less people travel and gather in indoor settings.
"After a long winter surge, the country is beginning to experience a declining number of new COVID-19 infections," Dr. Steven Gordon, chair of infectious disease at Cleveland Clinic, wrote in an email.
"While vaccinations will play an important role in controlling the pandemic, this slowing of cases is probably not yet a result of vaccinations.
More likely, the plateau is occurring as less people are traveling and getting together as we move past the holiday season."
Data from Johns Hopkins University report a steady drop in daily cases since early January, declining from nearly 250,000 new infections to about 170,000 in recent days, per 7-day averages.
The nationwide positivity rate, or percentage of tests coming back positive, has dropped from over 13% to 9.4% in January.
Hospitalizations are also falling; from about 130,000 in hospital care around Jan. 10 to 118,000 more recently, per 7-day averages from The COVID Tracking Project.
12-WEEK GAP BETWEEN COVID-19 VACCINE DOSES SHOULD BE 'URGENTLY REVIEWED,' UK DOCTORS SAYDr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser on COVID-19, told NBC News on Monday that the figures represent a natural peak and plateau.
"I just think it’s the natural course of plateauing."
GET THE FOX NEWS APPThere have been at least 21.8 million COVID-19 vaccinations so far in the U.S., or about 6% of the country’s population, per figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"It is so important for Americans to continue to follow these physical preventive measures until we get to that 75% point."

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