The daily average for new COVID-19 cases ticked lower, to snap a three-day streak of increases, while hospitalizations and deaths continue to fall. The seven-day average of cases was 29,429 on Thursday, according to a New York Time tracker, after rising by 2,652 a day over the previous three days, but the average was still down 3% from two weeks ago. New cases have increased recently in about half of all U.S. states and territories, particularly in the Northeast. Meanwhile, the daily average of COVID-19 related hospitalizations fell to 15,096 on Thursday from 15,266 the day before, to the lowest level since April 1, 2020. And the daily average for deaths declined to 564 from 599 on Wednesday, to the lowest total since Aug. 9, 2021. Globally, the total number of cases rose to 496.42 million and deaths grew to 6,171,259, with the U.S. leading the way with 80.29 million cases and 984,571 deaths, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.