At least five states have exceeded their previous peaks of seven-day averages for new daily cases—Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii, Oregon, and Mississippi. Seven states have exceeded their most recent peaks in hospitalizations—Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oregon, and Washington.
Florida in particular has been ablaze with COVID-19. The Sunshine State exceeded its previous record average of around 16,000 new daily cases, which was set in January. The state is now averaging just under 22,000, according to data reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As for daily hospitalization tallies, Florida is currently at its all-time record of around 15,000, exceeding its previous highest peak of around 12,000 last July.
Some U.S. states look as if they might be heading into a severe new wave of COVID-19.
Federal government charts illustrating trends in new case counts and hospitalization rates in those states are starting to head straight up.
Hospitalization rates may be a better indicator of outbreak severity than new case counts, because ups and downs in the number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 might reflect changes in how easy and cheap it is for people to get tested, rather than infection rates.
Hospitals, in contrast, are likely to admit people with COVID-19 only when those people are seriously ill.
The Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are more than 80% effective at preventing hospitalisations from COVID-19 in those over 80 after one dose of either shot, Public Health England (PHE) said on Monday, citing a pre-print study.
With coronavirus cases soaring in late summer, experts warned about the potential for a so-called “twin-demic,” which they said would’ve seen hospital systems overwhelmed by both COVID-19 and the influx of flu patients, but the surge never came. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is reporting that flu activity in the U.S. “remains lower than usual for this time of year,” which is typically the peak of illnesses.
Since Oct. 1, 2020, or the start of flu season, there have been 165-laboratory confirmed flu-related hospitalizations in the U.S. According to the CDC, not only is this below average for this point in the season, it’s the lowest rate seen since data collection began in 2005.
So why did the influenza virus take a backseat to coronavirus? Experts say it’s a mix of factors, but mitigation measures put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 likely played a big part.