It’s now undeniable that Thanksgiving led to a jump in COVID-19 spread: officially-reported cases went up 50% this past week compared to the week of the holiday, following the trend that we first saw in wastewater data. Hospital admissions for COVID-19 also continue to go up.
If the U.S. wasn’t at the start of a COVID-19 surge before Thanksgiving, we’re certainly in one now. While official case counts have stagnated, wastewater surveillance indicates that the country is seeing about 1.5 times the coronavirus transmission that we had three weeks ago, according to data from Biobot.
Nationwide, reported COVID-19 cases went up last week: the CDC reports 8% more cases in the week ending November 23 than in the week ending November 16. Wastewater monitoring also suggests a pre-Thanksgiving uptick, according to Biobot, while new hospitalizations have been at a plateau.
Nationwide, reported COVID-19 cases and new hospital admissions are still in a plateau; both metrics declined very slightly this week after rising slightly last week (declining by 3% and 1%, respectively).
We are beginning to see the impacts of colder weather and new variants this week, as both official COVID-19 cases and new hospital admissions went up slightly: increasing by 6% and 5% from the prior week, respectively. Wastewater monitoring similarly shows an uptick in coronavirus transmission at the national level, according to Biobot’s dashboard. The Northeast still has the highest virus concentration, but other regions of the country are catching up.
Continuing a trend from the last few weeks, nationwide COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are still at plateaus or trending very slightly downward. We aren’t clearly in a fall surge yet, but concerning newer Omicron subvariants are rising—along with other respiratory diseases.
The national COVID-19 picture continues to be somewhat murky, thanks in part to poor-quality data. Both nationwide cases and new hospital admissions trended slightly upward in the last week (by 2% and 1%, respectively); this could reflect the beginnings of fall surges in some places, but it’s hard to say for sure.
Official COVID-19 case numbers continue to drop nationwide, according to the CDC, but I remain concerned that a fall surge is coming soon. New subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 are particularly worth watching.
While official case numbers remain low compared to past fall seasons—both national cases and hospital admissions dropped again this week—signals of a coming fall surge are accumulating from wastewater and local data. According to Biobot’s dashboard, the coronavirus continues to spread in the Northeast at higher levels than the rest of the country with a new uptick this week.
As you might have guessed from the last couple weeks of National numbers posts, I am anticipating that the U.S. will see a new COVID-19 surge this fall, along with potential surges of the flu and other respiratory diseases. Here’s why it’s worth worrying about possible surges, and some thoughts on better tracking these viruses in the future.