As XBB.1.5's prevalence grows, COVID-19 activity falls: 7 updates

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths fell nationwide this week, even as the highly transmissible omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 grew to account for about half of all U.S. infections, according to the CDC's COVID-19 data tracker weekly review published Jan. 20. 

Seven updates:


1. Based on projections for the week ending Jan. 21, the CDC estimates that XBB.1.5 accounts for 49.1 percent of cases, up from 37.2 percent a week prior. 

2. BQ.1.1 accounts for 26.9 percent of cases, while BQ.1 accounts for 13.3 percent. Other omicron subvariants make up the rest.


3. As of Jan. 18, the nation's seven-day case average was 47,459, a 23.9 percent decrease from the previous week's average. 


4. The seven-day hospitalization average for Jan. 10-16 was 5,014, a 16.4 percent decrease from the previous week's average. 


5. The current seven-day death average is 565, down 6.1 percent from the previous week's average. Some historical deaths have been excluded from these counts, the CDC said. 

Wastewater surveillance 

6. About 46 percent of U.S. testing sites are reporting moderate to high virus levels in wastewater. Of these surveillance sites, 48 percent are seeing some of the highest levels since Dec. 1, 2021. 

7. About 28 percent of sites are reporting an increase in virus levels, and 61 percent of sites are seeing a decrease.


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