COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased “significantly” in more than a dozen states, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
COVID-19 hospitalizations began to increase this summer but have begun to decline in recent weeks. Infection rates are considered low in the vast majority of the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the week ending September 23, there were 19,079 hospitalizations, a decrease of 3.1% from the previous week.
However, 12 states saw COVID-19 hospitalizations increase by more than 20%, which the CDC classified as a “substantial” increase.
Connecticut had the highest increase in hospitalizations (36%), followed by Montana (32.2%), Delaware (31.8%), Wisconsin (31.6%), New Mexico (29.5%) and New Hampshire (27.6 %).
Six other states also saw hospitalizations increase by more than 20%: South Dakota, North Dakota, Maryland, Idaho, Nevada and Minnesota.
On the other hand, hospitalizations fell by more than 20% in three states, which the CDC classified as “substantial” declines.
Mississippi had the largest decline (-42.8%), followed by Alaska (-35.1%) and Florida (21.6%).
A spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Weekly newspaper Earlier this week, the agency’s genomic surveillance showed that most infections are caused by “strains closely related to Omicron strains” that have been circulating since early 2022.
“While incidence rates now appear to be stabilizing, we are entering October, which is the typical start of the respiratory virus season,” the spokesperson said. “Even if hospitalization rates remain flat for several weeks, hospitalizations will continue to rise in the coming weeks.” Rates are also likely to increase, and prevention is the best approach.”
In September, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved updated COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer, and the CDC urged nearly everyone, including babies as young as 6 months old, to get vaccinated ahead of the upcoming fall respiratory virus season .
About 2 million Americans have reportedly received the new vaccine in the two weeks since its approval, but the rollout has been chaotic and has included hurdles from insurance companies.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra issued a public statement targeting “the health care payer community” amid reports that some patients were paying as much as $190 for a shot at a pharmacy.
“We should be fully aligned on our goal of making updated COVID-19 vaccines available to everyone,” he wrote. “With thousands of claims being denied every day, we lose the opportunity to save lives together.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said vaccines will remain free for most U.S. residents through the Children’s Vaccines Program, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, most commercial insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. For those who are uninsured or underinsured, CDC’s Bridge Access program will provide free coverage.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services told Weekly newspaper While there have been reports of “accidental denials of coverage at the point of service,” the government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is addressing the issues.