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COVID-19

Today’s numbers: The COVID economy

Scott Tong and Mitchell Hartman Apr 22, 2021
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As of April 22, 2021 (we’ll update every weekday morning).

U.S.‌ ‌daily COVID-19‌ ‌deaths‌, 7-day average: 740 (falling)

U.S.‌ ‌new daily cases‌, 7-day average: 63, 293 (falling) ‌

COVID vaccine doses administered: 215 million (77% of doses shipped)

Americans 18 or older vaccinated — at least one dose: 51.5%

U.S. COVID positivity rate, 7-day average: 4.7% (falling)


Source: Ipsos Global Consumer Index

Initial jobless claims (state programs), week ending April 17: 547,000 (falling)

Total continuing jobless claims (state and federal programs), most recent week: 17,405,094 (rising)

Existing home sales–March: -3.7% (monthly), +12.3% (annual)

Median existing-home price–March: $329,100 (historic high)


“The leading economic indicator is … the virus.” More than one analyst has put it to us this way. As we try to understand and quantify this unprecedented global economic collapse — and now the attempted restart — we’re following key metrics for COVID-19 and the broader economy.

Keep in mind: The tally of COVID-19 cases represents only the ones that are documented.

Our main trusty sources: World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Johns Hopkins University, Our World in Data (based on WHO data, Covid Tracking (scientist/journalist collaboration), GasBuddy.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What do vaccines mean for economic recovery?

COVID-19 is not going anywhere anytime soon, according to expert witnesses who testified at a recent hearing held by the Joint Economic Committee. Put simply, we can’t eradicate the virus because it infects other species, and there will also be folks who choose not to get the vaccine or don’t mount an immune response, according to Dr. Céline Gounder at NYU School of Medicine & Bellevue Hospital. “That means we can’t only rely on vaccination,” Gounder said. She said the four phases of recovering from the pandemic are ending the emergency, relaxing mitigation measures, getting to herd immunity and having long-term control.

Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy begins reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.

What do I need to know about tax season this year?

Glad you asked! We have a whole separate FAQ section on that. Some quick hits: The deadline has been extended from April 15 to May 17 for individuals. Also, millions of people received unemployment benefits in 2020 — up to $10,200 of which will now be tax-free for those with an adjusted gross income of less than $150,000. And, for those who filed before the American Rescue Plan passed, simply put, you do not need to file an amended return at the moment. Find answers to the rest of your questions here.

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