Positive COVID-19 tests down in the South, West: 4 CDC updates

The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for COVID-19 increased in six of 10 HHS surveillance regions the week ending July 25. However, outpatient visits for flu- or COVID-19-like illnesses decreased or remained stable in nine regions, according to the CDC's weekly COVIDView report

Four updates:

1. Surveillance: Nationwide, the percentage of laboratory specimens testing positive for COVID-19 remained stable. This figure is decreasing in the Southeast and Southwest/West Coast after peaking in the previous two weeks.

2. Mortality: About 8.6 percent of deaths nationwide were attributed to flu, pneumonia or COVID-19 in the week ending July 25. This figure marks a decline from the week prior but is still above the epidemic threshold. 

3. Hospitalizations: The cumulative hospitalization rate for all age groups increased to 130.1 hospitalizations per 100,000 population. 

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 nationally for the second consecutive week.

More articles on public health:
30 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Aug. 3
Deep-cleaning priority is misplaced in stopping coronavirus spread, scientists say
COVID-19 'extraordinarily widespread' in new phase of pandemic, Birx says: 6 updates

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