COVID-19 peaking in Northeast + 2 more forecasts to know

COVID-19 hospitalizations are at record high numbers nationwide, though some parts of the country are seeing cases plateau or fall, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, said Jan. 16 on CNN's "State of the Union."

In New York and other parts of the Northeast, "we are starting to see a plateau and, in some cases, an early decline in cases," Dr. Murthy said. Daily average cases in New York have fallen 27 percent in the last 14 days, according to Jan. 18 data tracked by The New York Times. New Jersey, Maryland and Washington, D.C., have also seen cases fall in recent days. 

"The omicron wave started later in other parts of the country. So we shouldn't expect a national peak in the next coming days," Dr. Murthy said. "The next few weeks will be tough."

As of Jan. 17, a record 154,335 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 nationwide, HHS data shows. Hospitalizations had previously peaked at 142,273 on Jan. 14, 2021.

Two other forecasts to know: 

1. Daily COVID-19 hospital admissions will increase over the next four weeks, with 17,900 to 48,000 new admissions likely reported on Feb. 4, according to ensemble forecasts the CDC published Jan. 12. For context, the current seven-day hospitalization average for Jan. 5-11 is 20,637, a 24.5 percent increase from the previous week's average. 

2. CDC forecasting predicts COVID-19 deaths will increase nationwide over the next month, with 10,400 to 31,000 deaths likely reported in the week ending Feb. 5. Current forecasts should be interpreted with caution, the CDC said, as they may not fully account for omicron's rapid spread or changes in reporting during the holidays. 


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