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COVID-19 Hospitalizations on the Rise for Third Week

Understanding the latest COVID-19 trends

August 09, 2023

A new COVID-19 variant has become the dominant lineage nationwide as public health leaders continue to monitor the slight uptick in admissions during recent weeks.

While severe cases and deaths remain near the lowest-recorded levels since the outset of the pandemic, it’s still important to stay vigilant, officials said.

“While the emergency of COVID has been lifted and we're no longer in a crisis phase, the threat of COVID is not gone,” Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s technical lead for COVID-19, said recently during a press conference.

Here’s what you need to know:

Among the key takeaways:

  • Latest variant:  EG.5 (17.3%) has surpassed XBB.1.16 (15.6%) as the main circulating variant .
    • The Omicron subvariant is the fastest growing lineage with a mutation known to confer immune escape.
  • U.S. data:  Hospital admissions for COVID-19 have increased 12.5 percent during the past week to 9,056.
    • New hospitalizations for COVID-19 peaked during the week of January 15, 2022, with a total of 150,674 new admissions for the virus.
  • Pennsylvania perspective:  States have stopped reporting individual case data with the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Pennsylvania’s new weekly hospital admissions also increased slightly to 271, but remain far below peak levels.
    • Pennsylvania’s highest weekly total for COVID-19 admissions was 6,528.
  • Vaccine plans:  It’s possible the updated COVID-19 booster could be authorized as early as this month and available during September, according to media reports. Earlier this year, the FDA requested manufacturers make a booster targeting the XBB.1.5 variant.
  • Quotable:  “What our worry is, is that we could potentially see new variants that could be more severe and that's something we have to keep an eye out for because we need to be keeping people well protected,” Van Kerkhove said. “With good surveillance, with good clinical care, with high levels of boosting of vaccination among people who are most at risk we can keep that impact low.”

HAP continues to monitor the latest COVID-19 public health developments and provide updates to members. The national COVID-19 data is available online.