Who is hospitalized with COVID-19 right now? 6 trends

New daily COVID-19 hospitalization rates in the U.S. have risen 42 percent over the last two weeks, with a daily average of 158,638 virus patients hospitalized, according to HHS data cited by The New York Times.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia are seeing hospitalization rates trend upward, according to Jan. 20 data.  

Six things to know: 

1. Nationwide, 48 COVID-19 patients are currently admitted to the hospital daily per 100,000 Americans. In comparison, four Americans per 100,000 were admitted for COVID-19 daily as of Dec. 10.

2. COVID-19 hospitalizations among most age groups peaked in January 2021, though hospitalizations reached similar average levels Jan. 15, 2022. The rate of increase for virus hospitalizations appears to be slowing slightly now. 

3. As of Jan. 20, Alabama has the highest COVID-19 hospitalization rate in the U.S, with an average of 54 COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 people.   

4. Below are daily virus hospital admission rates by age group per 100,000 people, as of Jan. 19:

70 years or older: 28.5 daily admissions

60-69 years: 13.3 daily admissions

50-59 years: 8.2 daily admissions 

30-49 years: 5.1 daily admissions

18-29 years: 3.8 daily admissions

18 years or under: 2.2 daily admissions

This can be compared to daily virus hospital admission rates one month ago, on Dec. 19:

70 years or older: 12.1 daily admissions

60-69 years: 6.8 daily admissions

50-59 years: 4.4 daily admissions 

30-49 years: 2.6 daily admissions

18-29 years: 1.5 daily admissions

18 years or under: 1 daily admission

5. Most severe cases are among the unvaccinated, Cesar Arias, MD, PhD, chief of the division of infectious diseases at Houston Methodist Hospital and co-director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research at the system's research institute, told Becker's. Dr. Arias emphasized the clear effect vaccination status has on severity, noting that even patients without a booster fare much better than those without any vaccination. Most omicron patients don't end up requiring intensive care, Dr. Arias said, noting that when they do, they most likely have multiple comorbidities or other illnesses that require attention. 

6. The omicron coronavirus variant may pose more of a threat for youth than earlier variants, according to a study of early data from a large medical insurance program in South Africa. Published Jan. 18, the analysis found admission rates 49 percent higher amid the omicron surge for children under age 4 compared to delta surges. The hospitalization rate for 4 and under was also higher than it was amid surges fueled by the original virus and beta. For children 4-18 years old, admissions were 25 percent higher during omicron than delta, although lower than for beta. These findings match U.S. trends, with multiple states and hospitals reporting record-breaking pediatric hospitalizations. 


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