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COVID- 19 deaths in the US should start dropping by next week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director said, as Americans stick to mitigation efforts that help curb the spread of the virus.

So far, more than 5.5 million Americans have been infected and at least 174,255 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. The country’s seven-day average for daily deaths has topped 1,000 for at least 24 days in a row.

Mitigation measures like controlling crowds and shutting down bars work, CDC Director Dr Robert Redfield said Thursday, but it takes time until they’re reflected in the numbers.

“It is important to understand these interventions are going to have a lag, that lag is going to be three to four weeks,” Redfield said in an interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“Hopefully this week and next week you’re going to start seeing the death rate really start to drop.”

But Redfield warned that while officials have observed cases fall across red zones in the country, cases in yellow zones across the heart of the US aren’t falling.

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