COVID deaths rise in some states ahead of holidays

Several states are seeing an increase in COVID-19 deaths as the holidays approach and this year’s respiratory virus season arrives.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), eight states have seen an increase in coronavirus deaths based on data available through November 11: Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Michigan, North Carolina and Tennessee. Absolute increases ranged from 0.1 percent in Colorado to 3 percent in Maryland.

Colorado and Maryland were the only two states where the percentage of deaths caused by COVID-19 over the past week were in the yellow range, meaning they were between 4 and 5.9 percent of death. Maine almost fell into this category at 4 percent.

Nationally, the absolute increase in COVID-19 deaths in the United States rose 0.2% that week, according to CDC data.

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 also increased by 8.6 percent. Currently, only 1.3% of U.S. counties – 42 – are considered to have high hospitalization levels. Since the end of the pandemic public health emergency, hospitalization rates have served as a measure of community levels of COVID-19. Around 86 percent of the country is currently considered low in terms of hospital admission rates.

Last month, the CDC’s Respiratory Illness Season Outlook projected that the United States would likely see similar numbers of hospitalizations as last winter. Whether hospitalizations end up being a little higher or lower than expected, they will likely be higher than before the pandemic.

The majority of the country is experiencing minimal or low rates of emergency department visits in which people test positive for the virus. Emergency room visits, however, increased 7.1 percent in the most recently recorded week.

New Mexico is currently the only state reporting “substantial” rates of emergency room visits in which patients test positive, although this data for states like Oklahoma, Missouri and Minnesota is not available .

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