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HomeNewsDelta Variant of COVID-19 Increasing the Rate of Hospitalization Across the US 

Delta Variant of COVID-19 Increasing the Rate of Hospitalization Across the US 

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From recent data made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is clear that new variants of COVID-19 are still on the loose in the US.

ICU personnel taking care of a COVID-19 patient
Source: Gustavo Basso/Wikimedia Common

The said data shows the tally of hospitalizations by county and some data about recent deaths from the virus.

Towards the end of 2021, about 156,000 Americans lost their lives to the Alpha variant of the virus. However, research has found an even more virulent variant spreading through some states.

Trends of recent hospitalizations indicate that the Delta variant is even more contagious than its Alpha nephew.

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According to CDC data, hospitalization figures have been plummeting steadily since September. However, a consistent increase in the past three weeks, ending November 25, raises concerns. 

To make the data relatable and relevant across the board, the CDC quotes the hospitalization figures per 100,000 people. So, relative to the healthy population, the average hospitalization rate is 5.9 new admissions per 100,000 people.

Likewise, the statistics show various counties have low admission rates per 100,000. However, the few exceptions are South Dakota and West Virginia, with 12.0 and 15.4 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, respectively.

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To make the data comprehensive, CDC is liaising with hospital emergency departments. Now, they collect data on all emergency cases and determine which ones are offshoots of a COVID-19 infection.

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In the past week, collation of data from emergency departments across the nation shows that 1.7% of all visits involve a COVID-19 diagnosis. However, there are some outliers, with extremes quite above the average. For example, West Virginia and New Mexico experienced the highest COVID-19 emergency cases, with 3.4% and 3.9% respectively.

So far, the collation of previous data has been by states of the US, now by county. Around 76 municipalities in Puerto Rico had an average hospitalization rate of 20 per 100,000 or higher.

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Overall, New Mexico reports show the state has the highest COVID-19 hospitalization rate. Union County had 73.9 hospitalizations per 100,000, the highest in New Mexico.

All these data can be tricky since the CDC reports hospitalization rates per 100,000 people. So, they are careful to point out that a spike in the admission rates in certain counties may be misleading. For example, even a few hospitalizations will translate to a high hospitalization rate per 100,000 in counties with a low population.

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Since the end of 2022, the CDC has recorded COVID-19 deaths above 1 million. Unfortunately, some COVID-19 patients are still losing their lives to the mutant variants. For example, as of November 25, 5.5% of all deaths in West Virginia in the past week was attributed to COVID-19.

Similar to West Virginia, the data indicates that 10 other states have percentages of COVID-19 deaths greater than the national average. For the latest CDC report, the national average of deaths by COVID-19 was pegged at 2.5%.

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