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COVID Hospitalizations Climb for Fourth Straight Week

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

Weekly new hospitalizations for COVID-19 have climbed for the fourth straight week. 

Nationwide, 10,320 people were hospitalized during the week ending Aug. 5, up from 9,026 the week prior, which is about a 14% week-over-week increase, according to newly updated CDC figures. Hospitalizations reached an all-time low of about 6,300 per week in July.

The CDC stopped tracking the number of people infected by the virus earlier this year, and now relies on hospitalization data to gauge the current impact of COVID-19. 

“We have to remember that we’re still dealing with numbers that are far less than what we’ve seen for the pandemic,” John Brownstein, PhD, a Harvard Medical School professor of biomedical informatics, told ABC News. “We have to zoom out to look at our experience for the entire pandemic, to understand that what we’re dealing with now is far from any crisis that we’ve experienced with previous waves.”

The current predominant strain remains EG.5, and experts believe it is not more severe or more contagious than other recent variants. The next look at whether EG.5 continues to sicken more people will be on Friday, when the CDC updates its variant estimates. 

Brownstein told ABC News that one reason for the concern about rising COVID metrics, despite their overall low levels, is that a surge occurred in the summer of 2021 with the dangerous Delta variant.

“But each new variant so far that has come through has subsequently had less of a population impact,” he said. “Now, is it possible we may see one in the future that is worthy, a real concern? Absolutely. But overall, we’ve seen a dampening of effect over the last several variants that have come through.”


CDC: “Trends in United States COVID-19 Hospitalizations, Deaths, Emergency Department (ED) Visits, and Test Positivity by Geographic Area.”

ABC News: “Weekly COVID hospitalizations rose 14%, as numbers still lower than at other points in pandemic.”

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