COVID cases rise again in half the states

Data: NY Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj / Axios

Half of the states are seeing COVID case numbers rise again while Nationwide totals continue to fall.

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The big picture: The Omicron subvariant known as BA.2 is the dominant strain circulating around the US, accounting for almost three out of every four cases.

By the numbers: Overall, cases dropped 5% across the US to an average of about 28,700 cases from an average of more than 30,000 cases two weeks ago.

  • Three states – Alaska, Vermont and Rhode Island – had more than 20 new cases per 100,000 people.
  • Nine states – Utah, Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, Louisiana, Iowa, Arkansas, Indiana and Tennessee – had three or fewer new cases per 100,000 people.

Between the lines: Deaths fell to an average of 600 a day, down 34% from just over 900 a day two weeks ago.

What we’re watching: While US officials have said they aren’t expecting a significant rise in hospitalizations or deaths, there have been signs of hospitalizations rising among older individuals in the UK, the Guardian reported.

  • Since those numbers lag behind new cases, we won’t have a clear view of that impact in the US for a few weeks.
  • The highly contagious subvariant surged through parts of Europe but will probably spare many Americans, thanks in part to this winter’s Omicron surge.

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