COVID-19 admissions dip as XBB.1.5 spreads 

Although the highly transmissible omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 is gaining prevalence nationwide, COVID-19 cases are flat and hospitalizations have dipped. The data suggests the U.S. will see more of a COVID-19 "bump" this winter versus a full-fledged surge, according to The New York Times.

In the last two weeks, daily average COVID-19 cases have sat at 18 per 100,000, while hospitalizations have decreased by 8 percent, according to data tracked by the Times. As of Jan. 10, the nation's seven-day average of new hospital admissions was 5,783, down from 6,579 the previous week, CDC data shows. 

COVID-19 hospital admissions are projected to remain stable or have an uncertain trend over the next four weeks, with 2,500 to 13,100 new daily admissions likely to be reported on Feb. 3., according to the CDC's ensemble forecast from 14 modeling groups. The CDC also predicts COVID-19 deaths will increase over the next month, with 1,600 to 5,900 new deaths likely reported in the week ending Feb. 4.

A high level of population immunity, paired with an uptick in public health precautions amid the severe virus season, may have helped the U.S. avoid a winter surge, according to the Times

"We've made progress. We are getting ahead of this. People know what to do," Saskia Popescu, PhD, an epidemiologist at Fairfax, Va.-based George Mason University, told the Times. "But it worries me, because people also use that progress as an excuse to not be as vigilant and not take it so seriously."


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