COVID-19 deaths rise for first time since April: 4 CDC updates

Deaths attributed to pneumonia, flu or COVID-19 increased the week of July 18 for the first time since mid-April, according to the CDC's weekly COVIDView report

Four updates:

1. Surveillance: Nationwide, the percentage of laboratory specimens testing positive for COVID-19 decreased slightly. Four of 10 HHS surveillance regions saw an increase in the percentage of positive specimens: the Midwest, Central, Mountain and New York/New Jersey/Puerto Rico. Three other regions — the Southeast, South Central and West — have seen a higher percentage of positive COVID-19 tests than in March, but are now showing evidence of a decline.

2. Mortality: About 9.1 percent of deaths nationwide were attributed to flu, pneumonia or COVID-19 in the week ending July 18, marking the first increase in deaths after 12 weeks of decline. 

3. Hospitalizations: The cumulative hospitalization rate for all age groups was 120.9 hospitalizations per 100,000 population. Hospitalizations increased for three straight weeks between June 20 and July 11. 

4. Outpatient activity: Emergency department and outpatient visits for symptoms related to COVID-19 remained below baseline nationwide. The percentage of ED visits for COVID-19-like symptoms also decreased in the Southeast, West and South Central regions, which previously reported the highest activity. 

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