National numbers, April 10

Coronavirus levels in wastewater are now rising in all regions of the country, according to Biobot. Screenshot taken on April 9.

In the past week (April 2 through 8), the U.S. reported about 190,000 new COVID-19 cases, according to the CDC. This amounts to:

  • An average of 27,000 new cases each day
  • 57 total new cases for every 100,000 Americans
  • 5% more new cases than last week (March 26-April 1)

In the past week, the U.S. also reported about 10,000 new COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals. This amounts to:

  • An average of 1,400 new admissions each day
  • 3.0 total admissions for every 100,000 Americans
  • 10% fewer new admissions than last week

Additionally, the U.S. reported:

  • 3,500 new COVID-19 deaths (1.1 for every 100,000 people)
  • 100% of new cases are Omicron-caused; 72% BA.2-caused (as of April 2)
  • An average of 100,000 vaccinations per day (per Bloomberg)

After several weeks in a plateau, new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are once again going up at the national level. The CDC reported an average of 27,000 new cases a day last week—less than one-tenth of what we saw during the Omicron surge, but still a notable uptick from the week prior.

National numbers of newly hospitalized patients and COVID-19 deaths are both still trending down; this is unsurprising, as trends in hospitalizations and deaths typically follow cases by several weeks.

Wastewater, a leading indicator, is showing pronounced increases both nationally and in all four major regions of the country, according to Biobot’s tracker. Similarly, more than half of the wastewater monitoring sites in the CDC’s network have shown increases in coronavirus levels over the last two weeks.

That wastewater signal likely means that cases will keep going up in the next couple of weeks. BA.2 is a clear culprit for this: the more-contagious Omicron sublineage is now causing about three in four new COVID-19 cases in the U.S., according to the CDC’s latest estimates. BA.2’s dominance led the FDA to pull its emergency use authorization for Sotrovimab, a monoclonal antibody drug that works against Omicron BA.1—but not against BA.2,

As we’ve seen for the last couple of weeks, the Northeast continues to be a leader in case increases. Jurisdictions with the highest cases per capita in the week ending April 6 are Alaska, Vermont, Rhode Island, Washington, D.C., New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Maine. All reported more than 100 new cases for every 100,000 residents, per the latest Community Profile report.

Under the CDC’s old community level guidance, all of these Northeast states (and Alaska) would be classified as seeing high transmission. But under the new, more lenient guidance, 99% of the country—including most counties in these states—are classified as “low” or “medium” community levels.

These lenient levels don’t account for warnings in our wastewater, not to mention under-testing as PCR sites close and at-home tests go unreported. As Katherine Wu wrote in The Atlantic this week, the U.S. may be facing a new surge, but it’s harder to accurately track COVID-19 now than it has been since spring 2020. Don’t let the low numbers fool you into thinking all is well.

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