3 subvariants expand their dominance to 76% of cases: 10 CDC notes

As researchers continue to test the efficacy of the bivalent boosters and COVID-19 treatments, about 3 in 4 COVID-19 infections are from omicron subvariants BQ.1.1, BQ.1 and XBB, CDC data shows

Ten findings:


1. Based on projections for the week ending Dec. 17, the CDC estimates that BQ.1.1 accounts for 38.4 percent of cases and BQ.1 accounts for 30.7 percent of cases nationally. Infections caused by BA.5 continue to slim down as XBB slightly grows to 7.2 percent of cases. Eight other omicron subvariants tracked by the CDC account for the rest.


2. As of Dec. 14, the current seven-day average is 65,067, which is down from the 67,034 seven-day average from the previous week.


3. The current seven-day daily average for new hospital admissions was 5,010, which is a 2.3 percent increase from the previous week. 

Community levels

4. As of Dec. 15, there are 295 counties, districts or territories with a high COVID-19 community level, 1,124 counties with a medium community level and 1,789 counties with a low community level. Since last week, there have been no changes in these proportions. 

5. Of the 52 jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, 50 had high or medium level counties this week. The District of Columbia and Hawaii are the only jurisdictions to have all counties at low community levels. 


6. The current seven-day average of new deaths decreased by 13.2 percent compared to the previous week. 

7. As of Dec. 14, a total of 1,083,279 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in the United States. 


8. As of Dec. 14, 660.4 million vaccine doses have been administered in the U.S. Overall, about 68.9 percent of the population has completed a primary vaccine series. In addition, 14.1 percent of the population ages 5 years and older have been vaccinated. The bivalent booster vaccination rate is much lower as its inoculation sits at 14.1 percent of the population. 

Wastewater surveillance

9. About 80 percent of sites across the country are reporting moderate to high virus levels in wastewater. Of these sites, 53 percent are reporting some of the highest levels for those sites since Dec. 1, 2021. 

10. About 43 percent of sites are seeing a decrease in virus levels and about 46 percent are reporting an increase.


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