Iowa's new COVID-19 cases have fallen by 50% in two weeks. (Photo by Parker Michels-Boyce/ For the Virginia Mercury)

Iowa’s new COVID-19 cases dropped by 50% over the past two weeks, the New York Times reported. 

The state has been averaging 135 new cases a day this week. The 102 new cases reported Thursday was one of the lowest numbers since the pandemic began to take off in April 2020.

Gov. Kim Reynolds and state health officials have credited vaccinations for much of the progress in containing the coronavirus. Many businesses now don’t require masks for those who are fully vaccinated. Reynolds recently signed a bill prohibiting mask mandates at schools, cities and counties. 

The Washington Post reported that the daily U.S. vaccination rate fell from average of 3.3 million doses per day to a rolling average under 2 million per day in recent weeks, a drop of 39%. Iowa’s vaccination rate fell 13% over the past week, the Post reported. 

Iowa ranks 18th among the states in the percentage of residents who are fully vaccinated, at 43.1%. Just under half, 48.7%, of Iowans have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, the Post reported. 

Nationally, 40% of residents have been fully vaccinated, and 49.9% have received at least one dose, according to the newspaper’s database. 

Since the pandemic started, Iowa had recorded 401,590 cases as of Friday morning and 6,047 people had died, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported.

The state this week has averaged three COVID-related deaths per day.

The Times reported that the United States had confirmed 33.2 million cases and 592,938 deaths related to COVID through Friday morning. Cases fell 35% in the past two weeks.

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