National numbers, June 19

The Omicron subvariants surge might be peaking, but it’s turning around slowly. Chart from Biobot, retrieved June 19.

In the past week (June 11 through 17), the U.S. reported about 700,000 new COVID-19 cases, according to the CDC. This amounts to:

  • An average of 100,000 new cases each day
  • 215 total new cases for every 100,000 Americans
  • 8% fewer new cases than last week (June 4-10)

In the past week, the U.S. also reported about 30,000 new COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals. This amounts to:

  • An average of 4,300 new admissions each day
  • 9.2 total admissions for every 100,000 Americans
  • 5% more new admissions than last week

Additionally, the U.S. reported:

  • 1,900 new COVID-19 deaths (0.6 for every 100,000 people)
  • 64% of new cases are Omicron BA.2.12.1-caused; 22% BA.4/BA.5-caused (as of June 11)
  • An average of 130,000 vaccinations per day (per Bloomberg)

National COVID-19 cases appeared to plateau this week, as some parts of the country seem to have peaked in their Omicron subvariants wave while others are still reporting increasing transmission. The CDC reported an average of 100,000 cases each day—as always, this is a significant undercount of actual infections due to changing test availability.

Major indicators are showing continued high transmission around the country. National cases have leveled off or slightly dipped, but the number of new COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals increased by 5% compared to the prior week—continuing a trend of steady increases since early April. (Hospitalization trends usually lag case trends, but the increased unreliability in case reporting may have shifted this.)

Wastewater surveillance also suggests that COVID-19 spread remains at high levels nationwide, with a very slight dip in the last week, according to Biobot’s tracker. The Northeast region is a couple of weeks past the point of its surge, at this point; data from individual Northeast cities like Boston, New York City, and New Haven, Connecticut back up this trend.

West Coast, Midwest, and Southern states continue to report rising or plateauing transmission, according to Biobot. Wyoming, Nevada, Montana, and Utah reported the highest increases in official case counts this week (compared to the prior week), according to the June 16 Community Profile Report.

Some of these Midwest and Southern states are also reporting high prevalences of BA.4 and BA.5, the latest (and, likely, most contagious) Omicron subvariants yet. The CDC estimates that these two lineages caused about 21% of new cases nationwide in the week ending June 11. But these data are always reported with a significant lag, suggesting that the true prevalence could be closer to 50%.

As many of our local leaders, workplaces, and social circles continue to pretend that the pandemic is over—when we are actually facing one of the country’s biggest COVID-19 waves yet—remember that there are still options to protect yourself and your community. Safety measures like wearing a good mask, testing frequently, and gathering outdoors or in well-ventilated spaces are more important than ever.

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