Covid Hospitalizations Are Rising Across the U.S.

The CDC predicts a winter surge and confirms the effectiveness of the newest vaccine booster.

Hospital Intensive Care Emergency Room
Hospital emergency rooms are preparing for a surge in Covid cases. Photo Credit: Kiryl Lis for Adobe Stock

Covid cases, hospitalizations and test positivity are rising across the country, suggesting that the relative stability of the virus in recent months is coming to an end. We’re just beginning to see the results of Thanksgiving holiday gatherings: Average daily hospitalizations rose by nearly 18 percent in the U.S. from the week of Nov. 16-22 to Nov. 23-29, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and that number is expected to increase as we head into winter.

With the prevalence of at-home testing and other factors, the number of cases is no longer an accurate measure of Covid’s trajectory, according to the CDC. Higher test positivity rates indicate that many cases are not reported. The number of hospitalized patients with Covid is a much more reliable measure of how the virus is spreading, sources agree.

States with the highest increase in average daily hospitalizations over the past 14 days, according to The New York Times, are:

  1. Louisiana (97 percent)
  2. California (68 percent)
  3. Kansas (57 percent)
  4. Iowa (55 percent)
  5. Mississippi (55 percent)
  6. Texas (55 percent)

Based on a compilation of statistical studies and forecasts, the CDC predicts the number of new daily confirmed Covid-19 hospital admissions will continue to increase, with a potentially substantial uptick by late December.

The Bivalent Booster Is Highly Effective

New CDC data demonstrate the effectiveness of the updated (bivalent) booster, which protects against the original strain of the virus and the currently circulating Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants.

Early data shows that people ages 12 years and older who got the bivalent booster were 15 times less likely to die from Covid-19 compared with people who were not vaccinated.