National numbers, October 2

Official COVID-19 numbers continue to drop nationwide, with case counts down 13% and new hospital admissions down 6% this week compared to the prior week. Still, signals from wastewater suggest this is no time to let our guard down, especially if you live in the Northeast.

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National numbers, September 25

Nationally, official COVID-19 case counts continue to decline: reported cases are down about 11% last week compared to the prior week, while new COVID-19 patients in hospitals are down 10%. But signals from wastewater and variants suggest a fall surge may be starting soon.

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National numbers, September 18

Officially-reported COVID-19 cases are still on the decline nationwide this week, as are newly hospitalized patients (a more reliable metric). About 4,400 people with COVID-19 were admitted to hospitals across the country, compared to over 6,000 a day in late July. But wastewater data are suggesting a potential new surge.

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National numbers, September 11

It might appear that the U.S. reported a significant drop in COVID-19 cases last week, as the CDC’s numbers dropped to about 70,000 new cases a day last week from 87,000 new cases a day in the prior week. But in fact, the decline was likely exaggerated by Labor Day weekend, as testing labs and the public health workers who crunch data took time off.

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National numbers, September 4

Over the past month, COVID-19 trends in the U.S. have been fairly consistent: disease spread has declined slowly around the country. Official case counts dropped from about 120,000 a day in the first week of August, to about 80,000 a day last week.

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National numbers, July 31

The U.S.’s Omicron BA.5 wave appears to be creeping past its plateau, according to several major indicators. Nationwide, 1% fewer new cases were reported this week compared to last week, the second week in a row of clear deceleration in this metric.

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National numbers, July 24

Reported COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions seem to suggest that maybe the BA.5 surge is slowing down, at the national level. (And it is, definitively, the BA.5 surge, with almost 80% of new cases caused by this subvariant in the week ending July 16). According to CDC data, new cases only increased by 1% this week, compared to the week prior; last week, they increased by 17%.

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National numbers, July 17

As I suspected last week, the small dip in official COVID-19 case numbers was a result of the July 4 holiday, not an actual decline in transmission. This week, cases are up again nationwide, with the highest number reported since early February.

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National numbers, July 10

Our prolonged Omicron subvariant surge continues, now dominated clearly by BA.5. While reported COVID-19 cases dipped slightly last week at the national level, this is almost certainly a result of the July 4 holiday rather than an actual slowing in coronavirus transmission.

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National numbers, July 3

BA.4 and BA.5 are now the dominant coronavirus lineages in the U.S., and they’re reviving our recent surge: from the plateau of recent weeks, national COVID-19 cases are clearly going up again. Reported cases rose 11% last week from the week prior. And, as always, this number is a significant undercount of true infections.

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