COVID-19 admissions up 14% in 2 weeks: 3 updates

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are steadily rising in the U.S. as new, highly transmissible omicron subvariants account for more than 75 percent of cases nationwide. 

In the last two weeks, COVID-19 cases have jumped 26 percent, while hospitalizations have risen 14 percent, according to data tracked by The New York Times. Wastewater surveillance data, which can be more consistent than case counts, point to a similar trend. Overall, hospitalizations are rising in 37 states and Washington, D.C.

The jump in cases and hospitalizations suggests a winter COVID-19 surge may be looming, though experts say the duration, magnitude and scope of such a surge is unclear.

Two more updates:

1. The U.S. is not seeing a surge in recent reinfections, suggesting people who last developed a COVID-19 infection from BA.5 may have immunity against BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, according to Helix, a population genomics and viral surveillance company that helps the CDC track COVID-19 variants. 

"This could be because BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 have mutations that predict higher antibody escape against BA.2 than BA.5, or simply that there's been less time for BA.5 immunity to wane," Helix said in a Dec. 19 statement to Becker's.

2. COVID-19 hospital admissions are projected to remain stable or have an uncertain trend over the next four weeks, with 2,100 to 12,200 new daily admissions likely to be reported on Jan. 6, according to the CDC's ensemble forecast from 14 modeling groups. As of Dec. 7, the nation's seven-day average of new hospital admissions was 5,041, up from 4,914 the previous week, CDC data shows. 


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