Covid-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. are falling in 36 states, but the improvements were offset by areport that a faster-spreading variant of the virus could soon become dominant.
In 11 states, currenthospitalizations with Covid are down more than 10% from a week earlier, while the other 25 saw more modest declines, according to Covid Tracking Projectdata. Only Vermont has seen hospitalizations increase more than 10% in the period.
Cases and positivity rates across the country are also showing hints of a retreat, albeit from dangerous peaks.
Despite the indications of a shift, the nation faces perilous uncertainty. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in the report Friday that the new variant, called B.1.1.7, could threaten health-care resources, require extending public-health measures and undermine the widespread immunity needed to rein in the virus.
The number of people currently hospitalized with the virus, although dropping, is still more than twice as high as during any previous pandemic wave. And deaths, which lag cases and hospitalizations, are averaging more than 3,000 a day andprojected to remain elevated for weeks.
There have been almost 390,000 deaths through mid-Friday, the data show.
Even if temporary, the reprieve is welcome. Data on current hospitalizations have been among the most reliable statistics during the pandemic. Among regions, the South is the only one where hospitalizations are up from a week ago, having climbed 0.4%, according to Covid Tracking Project data.
Meanwhile, states have had a bumpy start to the vaccination push, with only 3.61 doses administered per 100 people in the U.S., according to datacollected by Bloomberg.
The U.S. posted 235,448 new cases on Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The seven-day average fell for the third day to 247,490.
According to Covid Tracking Project data:
- On a per capita basis,Arizona has the most people hospitalized with the virus.
- Alabama has reported themost deaths per capita in the past week.
- No states have reported record cases thus far this week.
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