New coronavirus hospitalizations have increased for the third week in a row.
More than 19,400 new COVID-19 hospital admissions were reported last week, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the numbers are a fraction of the massive surges the U.S. previously saw during the pandemic, it still means that the country is entering winter with elevated coronavirus levels.
“After a period of limited change, COVID-19 activity is increasing again especially in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions,” the CDC said in a report published Friday.
Federal health officials are likely watching the increase given that they expect a “moderate” winter wave of coronavirus and this could be the start of it. Holiday gatherings and travel are also typically followed by an increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
COVID-19 vaccination rates, meanwhile, have been disappointing for many.
CDC Director Mandy Cohen told Congress this week that about 16% of Americans have gotten the updated COVID-19 vaccine.
“That’s not enough,” Cohen said.
National vaccination coverage for COVID-19, influenza and RSV vaccines increased less than 1 percentage point for children and adults last week, according to the CDC.
The CDC on Friday also said it is monitoring increases in respiratory illnesses reported among children – a similar problem to what has recently been observed in China.
“These reported increases do not appear to be due to a new virus or other pathogen but to several viral or bacterial causes that we expect to see during the respiratory illness season,” the CDC said.
Source: U.S. News