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The United States now has so few deaths due to COVID-19 that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday it is approaching the threshold for dipping below the level of an epidemic.

The CDC defines an epidemic as an outbreak from which the number of deaths per week exceeds a given percentage of total deaths within the nation. The number of deaths from COVID-19 has steadily declined since hitting its peak in early May after it began spiking in the second week in March.

That threshold death rate for COVID-19 and other diseases such as influenza and pneumonia fluctuates, ranging typically from 5 to 7 percent at the height of flu season. The CDC said the Wuhan flu death rate had, during the last week in June, become equal to the epidemic threshold of 5.9 percent, reaching its lowest point since the end of last year.

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