COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations have been falling nationwide, though early signs suggest this trend may change.
The national daily average of new hospital admissions was 29,138 as of Feb. 12, down 12 percent in the past 14 days, according to data cited by The New York Times. Cases were also down 14 percent as of Feb. 12.
However, “a slight uptick in test positivity suggests this progress could soon end,” the Times wrote Feb. 10. Eight states are also reporting rising admission rates, up from six states on Feb. 3. These states are:
- North Dakota — 35 percent increase in last 14 days
- Montana — 27 percent
- South Dakota — 19 percent
- Washington— 13 percent
- Vermont — 12 percent
- Utah — 3 percent
- Louisiana — 3 percent
- Oregon — 1 percent
The rising hospitalization rates come as the highly transmissible omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 now accounts for about three-fourths of all COVID-19 cases reported nationwide. Though its prevalence has steadily risen since December, the U.S. has not experienced a major winter surge.
Last week, the FDA rolled out a new website encouraging people to anonymously report the results of at-home COVID-19 tests to help public health officials better track virus trends. Many experts are also relying on wastewater surveillance, which can be more consistent than case counts, to predict potential increases in virus activity. About 65 percent of U.S. testing sites reported moderate to high virus levels in wastewater, up from 62 percent a week prior, CDC data shows.