COVID-19 cases to jump 94% by April 30 + 2 more forecasts

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising nationwide for the first time since January as the omicron subvariant BA.2 accounts for 85.9 percent of U.S. cases. Health experts say it is still unclear whether BA.2 will cause a COVD-19 surge that strains hospitals, but forecasting from the CDC and Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic provides some insight into what to expect in the coming weeks. 

Three COVID-19 forecasts to know:

Cases: Daily COVID-19 cases are projected to increase 93.6 percent nationwide in the next two weeks, according to modeling from Mayo Clinic. Forecasts suggest daily average cases will jump from 32,381.6 cases on April 16 to 62,693 by April 30. The nation's case rate is also expected to increase from 11.4 cases per 100,000 population to 19.1 per 100,000 over the same period.

Hospitalizations: Daily COVID-19 hospital admissions are projected to remain stable or have an uncertain trend over the next four weeks, with 100-5,500 new admissions likely reported on May 6, according to the CDC's ensemble forecast from 16 modeling groups. For context, the seven-day average of new COVID-19 hospital admissions for April 6-12 was 1,446, a 1.3 percent increase from the previous week's average.

Deaths: U.S. COVID-19 deaths are expected to fall over the next month, according to the CDC's ensemble forecast from 22 modeling groups. The forecast projects 1,200-3,500 deaths likely reported in the week ending May 7, which would bring the nation's total COVID-19 death tally to a range of 993,000-1,001,000.

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 April 18 at 8:45 a.m. CDT.


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