COVID Deaths, Hospitalizations, Continue to Rise in U.S.

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Aug. 21, 2023 -- COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are increasing in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

There were 10,320 people hospitalized for COVID-related reasons in the past week, a 14.3% increase over the previous week, the CDC said Friday in its weekly update. Hospitalizations have gone up for six straight weeks.

The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota noted that more counties have moved into the medium level for COVID admissions, especially in the South and Southeast. One county is listed as having high admissions, Grant County, Oregon. 

There have been 6.2 million COVID-related hospitalizations since Jan. 1, 2020.

Bernard Camins, MD, the medical director for infection prevention at Mount Sinai Health System, told CBS news that COVID cases went up this summer because people were socializing more. 

“I do expect the numbers to go up a little bit more because there’s been a lot of activity,” he said.

COVID-related deaths went up 8.3% last week over the previous week, the CDC said. This is the second straight week deaths rose. The CDC said 1.3% of deaths last week were caused by COVID last week. 

Since Jan. 1, 2020, 1.1 million people in the U.S. have died of COVID.

CIDRAP noted that early indicators of COVID have also risen. Emergency department visits went up 19% over the previous week, with increases occurring in the South and Southeast as well as Oregon. Test positivity went up 1.5% last week over the previous week. 

The CDC also updated its variant proportions on Friday. The updates show that EG.5 continues to be the predominant strain, rising from 16.1% to 20.6% of all U.S. COVID cases over the past two weeks.