Here’s Where COVID-19 Hospitalizations, Cases Are Rising and Falling

Shoppers were masks inside a grocery store
More communities are reinstating mask policies as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise. Mario Tama/Getty Images
  • New COVID-19 hospitalizations increased sharply this past week in the United States, with predictions that they’ll continue to rise in the next few weeks as the Omicron surge peaks.
  • The number of new COVID-19 cases has hit record levels amid some hopes we may soon reach the peak of the latest surge.
  • The daily U.S. vaccination rate remains at 1.3 million. Experts say elected and community leaders still need to continue promoting the benefits of vaccination.

Editor’s note: This story is updated regularly as new statistics are released.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations rose significantly this past week in the United States as the number of new cases hits record levels amid the Omicron variant surge.

Hospitalizations nationwide are now sitting at about 124,000, nearly 12,000 more than late last week and nearly 30,000 more than a week ago.

New York has the most, with more than 11,500 people hospitalized with COVID-19. California and Texas are next with more than 9,000 hospitalizations each. They’re followed by Illinois with more than 7,000 and Pennsylvania with more than 6,600.

A chart compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a projected steady increase in hospitalizations between now and Jan. 28.

Information compiled by Becker’s Hospital Review shows 17 states with COVID-19 hospitalizations of at least 40 per 100,000 residents. There were 14 states late last week.

New Jersey tops the list with 68 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents. It’s followed by New York with 63 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents.

Ohio is next with 60 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents. Maryland and Delaware follow at 58 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents, while Pennsylvania registers with 57 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents, and Illinois and Connecticut have 54 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents.

Alaska has the lowest per capita rate with 11 COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents. Wyoming is the next lowest, with 12 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents.

Vermont and Montana both have rates of 15 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents.

Here’s a look at the states with the highest per capita hospitalization rates and their percentage of fully vaccinated people:

State Hospitalizations per 100,000 residents Full vaccination rate
New Jersey 68 71%
New York 63 73%
Ohio 60 56%
Delaware 58 65%
Maryland 58 71%
Source: COVID ActNow

There are concerns that the sheer increase in the number of cases will continue to cause a rise in hospitalizations, even though the Omicron variant, while more contagious, seems to cause less severe disease.

“The net amount is, you’re still going to get a lot of people that are going to be needing hospitalization,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told “This Week” on ABC earlier this month. “And that’s the reason why we’re concerned about stressing and straining the hospital system.”

Experts say hospitalizations will be a key indicator in the coming weeks.

“I agree that our primary focus should be on preventing hospitalizations and deaths,” Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, told Healthline. “That is where the painful tragedies are, where the stress on the healthcare system is most severe, and also where the greatest financial costs are.”

Dr. Jamila Taylor, director of healthcare reform and a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, said that we should keep an eye on all the numbers until we get a better understanding of what’s happening.

“I think we should focus on the rise in cases, as well as on hospitalizations and deaths,” she told Healthline. “We don’t yet have a clear understanding of Omicron, and Delta is still rampant in the United States. I think this is part of the reason why we are seeing an increase in hospitalizations.”

In the midst of this latest surge, hospital officials across the country are reporting staffing shortages due to the increase in cases as well as the number of healthcare professionals who are sick.

“Our healthcare systems have been stretched thin throughout the pandemic,” Taylor said. “This is particularly true for high-need and low-resourced areas, namely the South and major urban areas. I think we will be in deep trouble if we see hospitalizations continue to rise. This is why mitigation, including wearing masks and increasing vaccination and boosters among all people who are eligible, is so critical.”

Cases and deaths

Overall, the United States has reported 62 million COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. Deaths related to COVID-19 in the United States have now surpassed 840,000.

According to CDC figures, the average number of new COVID-19 cases has surged to 750,000 per day, about 140,000 more than late last week. The figures include the record 1.4 million new cases reported on Jan. 10.

The total number of new COVID-19 cases for the week that ended Jan. 2 was listed at more than 4.9 million, an increase of 66 percent from the previous week.

There are predictions that the Omicron surge will peak within 2 weeks. Experts say that’s possible, but we should remain vigilant.

“We have yet to receive more accurate numbers accounting for holiday travel and gatherings. Once we get through this, I think we will see the surge peak,” Taylor said.

“Because of all the holiday travel and mixing, the U.S. could well be in for a tough January with its healthcare system stressed further,” added Schaffner. “This is particularly concerning because influenza is starting its usual winter surge right now also.”

“The U.S. is a very large, diverse country,” Schaffner cautioned, “so I anticipate that our experience with Omicron will be more sustained than it was in South Africa, which experienced both a rapid rise and a rapid decline in cases.”

The rate of transmission of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 on a county-by-county basis as of Jan. 11. Source: CDC

There were 49 states that reported an increase in new COVID-19 cases for the week that ended Jan. 9. There were also 49 states the previous week. Only Tennessee reported a decrease this past week.

Alaska had the largest jump with a 336 percent increase to 8,184 cases. Texas was next with a 294 percent hike.

In overall numbers, the CDC reports that California had the most new cases in the past 7 days with 707,906. New York was second with 510,298. Florida was third with 447,752 new cases and Texas fourth with 345,708 new cases this past week.

The CDC reports that Rhode Island is the leader per capita with 3,459 new cases per 100,000 residents.

New York is next with 3,270 cases per 100,000 residents over the past 7 days in New York City and 2,131 cases per capita across the rest of the state.

New Jersey is third with 2,498 cases per 100,000 residents, while Massachusetts recorded 2,480 cases per 100,000.

Deaths attributed to COVID-19 for the past week were listed at 11,768, an increase of 24 percent from the previous week.

There were 36 states that reported an increase in deaths related to COVID-19 for the week that ended Jan. 9. There were 30 the previous week.

Nebraska had the highest jump, with an increase of 519 percent to 130 deaths. Delaware was next with a 426 percent hike to 79 deaths. Alabama was third with a 356 percent jump to 169 deaths.

New York recorded the most COVID-19 deaths over the past 7 days with 1,058. Pennsylvania was next with 887 deaths, followed by Indiana with 712 deaths.

Indiana had the highest death rate per capita with more than 10 deaths per 100,000 residents. This was followed by Wyoming with 8 deaths per 100,000 residents, and New Mexico and Nebraska with more than 7 deaths per 100,000 residents.

Where we are with vaccines

The 7-day average of vaccine doses administered in the United States is at about 1.3 million.

The CDC reports there have been more than 521 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered across the United States.

More than 247 million people have received at least one dose, and nearly 208 million people are fully vaccinated.

The numbers now include the more than 76 million people who’ve received COVID-19 boosters since they were made available.

That means that more than 74 percent of the total U.S. population has received at least one dose. More than 86 percent of the country’s adult population has received at least one dose. About 95 percent of people ages 65 and older have received at least one dose.

Here are the top five states in terms of the percentage of the population that’s received at least one dose:

States with the highest percentage of vaccination (total population)
1. Massachusetts: 92%
2. Rhode Island: 91%
3. Vermont: 90%
4. Connecticut: 90%
5. Maine: 87%
Source: COVID Act Now

Taylor said she is concerned about the plateau in vaccinations nationwide.

“We continue to fall behind in vaccinations,” she said. “I am particularly concerned about the increase in children becoming seriously ill and hospitalized due to COVID-19. We need to better understand the decline in vaccination among eligible children and any challenges or hesitancy parents may be facing when it comes to this intervention.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did grant an emergency use authorization last week that allows children ages 12 to 15 to receive a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Schaffner agreed the vaccination of children is crucial.

“It is very important for children 5 to 11 years old to be vaccinated, both to protect themselves and to protect their communities,” Schaffner said. “We all know that children are less severely affected by COVID than are adults, particularly older adults. However, that does not mean that children remain unscathed.”

“Young children can be transmitters,” he added, “spreading the disease to older persons who can become seriously ill. All these are reasons for young children to be vaccinated. In addition, vaccinating youngsters can help make day care and schools safer for all.”

Taylor added it’s important to remind people that vaccines are keeping people from getting more serious disease.

“It is important that we continue to drive the message that the vaccines are working as intended,” she said. “They are protecting people from death and getting seriously ill due to COVID-19. In turn, they are also keeping people out of the hospital.”

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