Amid ongoing concerns about rising new COVID-19 cases and the possible return of widespread mask mandates, a map shows where COVID-19 hospitalizations are increasing the most.
In recent months, health officials have warned of a possible surge in COVID-19 cases following the discovery of a new variant, BA.2.86, as well as the relaxation of precautionary measures such as mask requirements and vaccination requirements.
“While hospitalizations are increasing, current levels are still far lower than in 2022 during the summer peak, when an average of 1,287 COVID patients were hospitalized each day,” Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials said last month.
Dr. Luis Ostrosky, chief of infectious diseases at UT Health and Memorial Hermann in Houston, Texas, said last month: “COVID is definitely circulating in the population.”
“In the hospitals, we are seeing more and more people coming to the emergency room with COVID and more people coming to our outpatient clinics with COVID,” he added, KRIV News reported.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) releases a weekly map tracking COVID-19 hospitalizations, with the latest map containing data for the week ending September 9th.
A CDC spokesperson said Newsweek on Tuesday that “overall COVID-19 hospitalizations remain low, with 20,538 new COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide for the week of September 3-9, 2023, compared to 19,068 hospitalizations the previous week. This represents a 7.71 percent increase in new COVID-19 hospitalizations compared to the previous week.”
The map shows COVID-19 hospitalizations by county, using colors to indicate which counties are experiencing a high increase (orange), a medium increase (yellow), and a low increase (green). The map shows counties in orange if they have 20 or more new weekly COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents, while yellow is used if there are 10.0 to 19.9 new weekly COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents .
According to the map, the Texas counties of Brewster, Presidio, Jeff Davis, Dewitt, Victoria, Lavaca, Jackson and Calhoun are marked in orange. In Mississippi, Alcorn and Tishomingo counties and Prince George, Dinwiddie, Surry and Sussex counties in Virginia are orange.
Other counties marked orange include Linn County, Missouri; Clay County and Barber County, Kansas; Grant County, Oregon; and Beaverhead County, Montana.
Additionally, the map shows several counties in Florida, Arkansas, New York, Alabama and Montana in yellow.
“For comparison: new hospital admissions nationwide in the week of September 4th to 10th, 2022, were over 31,000. “The U.S. has experienced a surge in COVID-19 over the past three summers, so it is not surprising that there is a surge,” the CDC spokesperson said.
Despite a slight increase in new COVID-19 hospitalizations in some counties, several Republican-led states have already vowed not to reinstate mask requirements.