COVID-19 mortality dips; hospitalizations continue to rise — 4 CDC findings

COVID-19-related mortality held stable or decreased nationwide for the third consecutive week ending May 2, according to the CDC's weekly COVIDView report

Four things to know:

1. The national percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, decreased in public, commercial and clinical labs. Nationwide, labs have confirmed 832,238 positive specimens since March 1.

2. About 10.6 percent of deaths nationwide were attributed to flu, pneumonia or COVID-19 in the week ending May 2, down from 21 percent a week prior. This percentage still falls above the epidemic threshold of 6.8 percent and may change as additional death certificates are processed, the CDC noted.

3. The cumulative hospitalization rate for all age groups increased to 50.3 hospitalizations per 100,000 population. Among 6,624 hospitalizations with information on race/ethnicity, 40.5 percent of patients were white, 36.8 percent were black, 12.5 percent were Hispanic and 10.3 percent were other races.

4. Emergency department visits related to COVID-19 fell or were stable for the fifth consecutive week, while outpatient visits for flu-like illness (which features similar symptoms as COVID-19) dropped for the sixth week. While the decrease may be due to a drop in COVID-19 activity, it may also be fueled by less respiratory illness overall due to widespread social distancing efforts and changes in how people access healthcare. 


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