Peter Wells in New York
The US on Monday reported its smallest daily increase in coronavirus deaths in a fortnight, as figures showed January was the deadliest month of the pandemic.
Authorities attributed 1,562 fatalities to coronavirus, according to Covid Tracking Project, down from 2,059 on Sunday. That was the smallest daily increase in deaths since January 18, which was a public holiday.
The most recent Covid Tracking Project data released on Monday evening represent state figures for January 31 and reveal that 94,357 coronavirus deaths across the US were recorded during January. This is the highest monthly death toll of the pandemic.
Twenty states reported their highest monthly death tolls during January, on par with the 20 states for which December was the deadliest month, according to a Financial Times analysis of Covid Tracking Project data.
California, Texas, Arizona, Tennessee and North Carolina all had tallies of at least 2,500 fatalities that eclipsed the single-month records they had set in December. Florida and Georgia were among states that topped record months from earlier on during the pandemic.
Deaths tend to lag cases and hospitalisations, and downward trends, nationally, in the latter two may mean fatalities may plateau and soon follow suit.
The number of people in the US currently being treated for coronavirus eased to 93,536 from the 95,013 reported on Sunday. That is the lowest level since late November, and down almost 30 per cent from a peak of 132,474 in early January.
An additional 119,747 infections were reported, up from 118,780 on Sunday.
That took the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic to 25.9m, a number that was on Monday eclipsed by the number of people in the US — 26m, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — who have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.