Feb. 3, 2022 -- Although COVID-19 cases are dropping across the U.S., the number of COVID-19 deaths will continue to increase this month, potentially climbing 75,000 by the end of February, according to the latest CDC national forecast.
The U.S. could reach a total of 933,000 to 965,000 COVID-19 deaths by Feb. 26. Increases in deaths tend to lag surges in cases by about 3 weeks, and the recent Omicron peak happened in late January.
Between 7,600 and 23,700 new deaths could be reported for the week ending Feb. 26.
“This week’s national ensemble predicts that the number of newly reported COVID-19 deaths will remain stable or have an uncertain trend over the next 4 weeks,” the CDC wrote.
The state- and territory-level forecasts predict that the number of newly reported deaths per week will likely increase in four jurisdictions and decrease in 12 jurisdictions. In other states and territories, deaths are predicted to remain the same or have an uncertain trajectory.
The current 7-day average of deaths is about 2,600 per day, according to the data tracker from The New York Times. That’s an increase of about 35% over the past 2 weeks and the highest average since last winter, the newspaper reported.
At the same time, COVID-19 cases are dropping dramatically. The 7 -day average of cases fell below 500,000 for the first time in weeks. On Wednesday, the average was about 385,000 daily cases, marking a 49% decrease from 750,000 daily cases 2 weeks ago.
Average daily cases have fallen over the past 2 weeks in all but five states, according to Axios. Maryland and Washington, DC, have the lowest rates of COVID-19 spread in the country, with fewer than 45 cases per 100,000 people. New York and New Jersey aren’t far behind.
The highest rates of cases are being reported in Alaska, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. In Montana and North Dakota, which were among the last states to report a peak in Omicron cases, new infections have started to fall, the Times reported.
Hospitalizations are also beginning to decline. The 7-day average of hospital admissions is about 17,000 per day, which is a 14% decrease from the previous week. About 122,000 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized across the country, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which has fallen from a high of 160,000 in January.