COVID-19 admissions to rise in May, CDC modeling shows

Modeling suggests COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations will continue to rise in the coming weeks, though national levels are still down significantly from this winter's omicron surge. 

Three COVID-19 forecasts to know:

Cases: Nationwide, daily COVID-19 cases are projected to increase 88 percent in the next two weeks, according to modeling from Mayo Clinic. Forecasts suggest daily average cases will jump from 49,092.4 cases on April 30 to 92,235 by May 14. During the omicron surge, this figure hit a peak of more than 800,000, according to data tracked by The New York Times.

The nation's case rate is also expected to increase from 17 cases per 100,000 population to 28.1 per 100,000 over the same period.

Hospitalizations: Daily COVID-19 hospital admissions are projected to increase over the next four weeks, with 600-7,000 new admissions likely reported May 20, according to the CDC's ensemble forecast from 18 modeling groups.

For context, the seven-day average of new COVID-19 hospital admissions for April 20-26 was 1,889, an 18.5 percent increase from the previous week's average. At the height of the omicron surge, this seven-day average surpassed 159,000, according to data tracked by The New York Times.

Deaths: U.S. COVID-19 deaths are expected to remain stable or have an uncertain trend over the next month, according to the CDC's ensemble forecast from 22 modeling groups. The forecast projects 1,500-4,300 deaths likely reported in the week ending May 21, which would bring the nation's total COVID-19 death tally to a range of 997,000-1,003,000.

The CDC said its ensemble forecasts are among the most reliable for COVID-19 modeling, but they cannot predict rapid changes in cases, hospitalizations or deaths. Therefore, they should not be relied on "for making decisions about the possibility or timing of rapid changes in trends," the agency said.

Note: Mayo Clinic uses a Bayesian statistical model to forecast cases that automatically updates as new data becomes available. There is an uncertainty interval for forecast values, with lower and upper bounds that are not included in this list. To learn more about the data Mayo Clinic uses to forecast hot spots, click here. Becker's pulled the forecast values May 2 at 9:05 a.m. CDT.

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