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Are COVID Cases Rising?

Posted by S. Kit on
a sea of people walking in New York city with Central Park in the background

In recent weeks, the United States has seen a surge in COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), new COVID hospital admissions are now at the fourth-highest rate of the pandemic. COVID hospitalizations decreased after the summer spike, but did not drop to lower levels after previous waves, increasing through the fall and ticking back up again with the winter holiday season. This spike in cases is concerning, including the potential increase in deaths, as well as the potential for new variants of the virus to spread more easily, like the XBB.1.5 omicron subvariant.

The East Coast has seen the highest increase in cases, and hospitalizations are having a bigger impact, due to the region's large population. States that have been hit hard, specifically, are the Carolinas, and New Hampshire, with new cases nearly doubling from last month.


Read more: WHO: XBB.1.5 Omicron Variant Spreading Quickly


One of the main reasons for the rising cases is the increase in travel during the holiday season. Many people traveled to see family and friends, despite warnings from health officials to avoid nonessential travel. This led to a surge in cases in many states, as people who were unknowingly infected with COVID-19 spread the virus to others. Additionally, many people let their guard down during the holidays and didn't follow recommended guidelines, such as wearing masks and social distancing as much as possible, which further contributed to the spread of the virus.

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Another reason for the rising cases is the increase in gatherings. As states began to ease restrictions and people became more comfortable with the idea of returning to some sense of normalcy, many began to hold gathering, such as parties and events, that put them at risk of infection. These gatherings often take place indoors, where the risk of spreading the virus is much higher.

Another reason for the rising cases is the spread of new variants of the virus. The XBB.1.5 omicron subvariant, which was first detected in New York, and believed to be more transmissible than the previous variants, meaning they can spread more easily from person to person, leading to a higher number of cases.


Read more: Austin Spreading 'Kraken' COVID-19 Subvariant


Official metrics are stalled or falling, because of more at-home tests being available to the general population and because of people not getting tested at all, experts say. Of the official COVID cases that are counted and reported, however, positivity rates have been very high, with about 16% turning positive.

The rising cases are also concerning because they are putting a strain on the healthcare system. Hospitals--especially in the North East--are at or near capacity, with many having to divert patients to other facilities. Additionally, there is a shortage of medical personnel, as many healthcare workers have become infected with COVID-19 or are fatigued from working long hours during the pandemic.

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The increase in cases also has a significant impact on the economy and supply chains. The rise in COVID cases is leading to more restrictions and COVID policies, which is causing businesses to suffer. Additionally, many people are unable to work due to illness, which is leading to financial difficulties for many families.

The CDC and other health officials are urging people to take precautions to slow the spread of the virus. This includes getting vaccinated, boosted, wearing masks, practicing social distancing, as much as possible, and avoiding non-essential travel. People should also be vigilant about getting tested if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.


Read more: Why COVID Makes You Tired


Additionally, it is important to remember that the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are still effective against the new variants and getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick. The vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective and have been authorized by the FDA.

In summary, the rising COVID cases in the country are a concern for many reasons. The increase in travel during the holiday season, gatherings, spread of new variants, and strain on healthcare system and economy are some of the main reasons. It is important that everyone takes precautions to slow the spread of the virus, such as getting vaccinated, wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and avoiding non-essential travel. By working together, we can slow the spread of the virus and protect ourselves, our loved, ones, and our communities

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