5 regions see uptick in visits for flu, COVID-19 symptoms: 4 CDC updates

The percentage of specimens testing positive for COVID-19 continues to decrease nationwide, though five regions reported an increase in visits for flu- or COVID-19 symptoms in the week ending Oct. 3, according to the CDC's most recent COVIDView report

Four updates:

1. Surveillance: The national percentage of positive COVID-19 specimens increased slightly among those ages 5 to 17 and those 65 and older. Test positivity remained stable or fell in all other age groups. Regionally, the percentage of positive test specimens increased slightly in the Southeast but remained stable or decreased in the nine remaining HHS surveillance regions

2. Outpatient activity: The national percentage of ER visits for flu- or COVID-19-like symptoms remained stable in the week ending Oct. 3. The South Central, South/West Coast, Pacific Northwest and New Jersey/New York/Puerto Rico regions reported a slight increase in outpatient visits for flu-like illness. When compared to figures from two weeks prior, five regions also reported an increase in ER and outpatient visits for flu or COVID-19 symptoms: New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Central and Mountain. 

3. Mortality: About 7 percent of deaths nationwide were attributed to flu, pneumonia or COVID-19 in the week ending Oct. 3. This figure is declining but still above the epidemic threshold, which hovers around 6 percent. 

4. Hospitalizations: The cumulative hospitalization rate for all age groups increased to 183.2 per 100,000 population in the week ending Oct. 3. 

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