COVID-19 hospitalizations increased slightly this week after nearly two months of decline, while omicron subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 — dubbed ‘escape variants’ for their immune evasiveness — continued to gain prevalence nationwide, according to the CDC’s COVID-19 data tracker weekly review published Oct. 28.
1. The seven-day hospitalization average for Oct. 19-25 was 3,249, a 1 percent increase from the previous week’s average. New hospital admissions had been falling since early August, CDC data shows.
2. As of Oct. 26, the nation’s seven-day case average was 37,683, a 25.1 percent decrease from the previous week’s average. This marks the 14th week of decline and the lowest daily case rate seen since late April, CDC data shows.
3. Based on projections for the week ending Oct. 29, the CDC estimates that BQ.1 accounts for 14 percent of cases, while BQ.1.1 accounts for 13.1 percent.
4. BA. 5 remains the nation’s dominant strain, accounting for 49.6 percent of infections. BF.7, another omicron subvariant experts are closely monitoring, makes up 7.5 percent of cases. Other omicron subvariants make up the rest.
5. As of Oct. 27, 2.3 percent of counties, districts or territories had high COVID-19 community levels, 21.9 percent had medium community levels and 75.8 percent had low community levels.
6. The current seven-day death average is 373, down 13.7 percent from the previous week’s average. Some historical deaths have been excluded from these counts, the CDC said.
7. As of Oct. 26, about 266 million people — 80.1 percent of the U.S. population — have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 226.9 million people, or 68.4 percent of the population, have received both doses.
8. About 111.8 million people have received a booster dose, and more than 22.9 million people have received an updated omicron booster. However, 49.3 percent of people eligible for a booster dose have not yet gotten one, the CDC said.
9. About 34 percent of the U.S. is reporting moderate to high virus levels in wastewater. Of these surveillance sites, 10 percent are seeing some of the highest levels since Dec. 1, 2021.
10. About 50 percent of sites are reporting an increase in virus levels, and 44 percent of sites are seeing a decrease.