COVID hospitalizations rise for 5th consecutive week but remain 3 times lower than same time last year: CDC

Hospitalization numbers are about three times lower than this time last year.

August 21, 2023, 9:49 PM

COVID hospitalizations in the U.S. have risen for a fifth consecutive week, with 12,613 new admissions in the week ending Aug. 12 -- an increase of 21.6% from the prior week, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new admissions are still at the 22nd lowest levels recorded since tracking began in August 2020; only 21 weeks have had lower levels out of nearly 160 weeks of data, the CDC said Monday night.

Current hospitalization numbers are about three times lower than the same time last year and about six times lower than in 2021, according to the CDC.

Deaths have remained relatively stable, the new data shows, with about 1.3% of all U.S. deaths being attributed to COVID.

There was a slight rise in deaths for the week ending on July 15, with an increase from 465 to 484 weekly deaths. Data on deaths is often delayed and, as such, is labeled as "provisional" on the CDC website.

All currently circulating subvariants in the U.S. are related to XBB, a descendant of Omicron, according to the CDC.

A newer subvariant known as BA.2.86 was recently labeled a "variant under monitoring" by the World Health Organization, following concern among some scientists due to its high number of mutations.

Only about six cases have been reported so far with this subvariant. The cases were found spread around the world in individuals without travel history, suggesting an established international transmission, according to a recent risk assessment by the United Kingdom's Health Security Agency.

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