New COVID-19 hospitalizations have declined for the third week in a row following the late summer increase of coronavirus in the U.S. Last week saw more than 18,100 new COVID-19 hospital admissions – a 6% decrease from the week prior – according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While it’s clear that the late summer increase of COVID-19 has passed its peak, health officials warn that the months ahead are likely to bring another wave.
According to CDC’s respiratory disease outlook, the agency expects a “moderate” COVID-19 wave with about as many peak hospitalizations as last winter. Last winter’s COVID-19 hospitalizations peaked at about 44,500. While it’s a significant number, it is less than a third of the all-time peak in January 2022 of more than 150,600 weekly hospital admissions.
U.S. health agencies recently endorsed new COVID-19 shots that more closely align with circulating variants. The Biden administration is hoping Americans will not be dissuaded from getting the shot after recent insurance and availability issues arose.
“Everyone should know there is a free COVID vaccine with your name on it,” CDC Director Mandy Cohen said at an event in Boston this week. “Just call ahead and make sure the supply is there for you.”
A recent poll suggested that uptake of this vaccine will be significantly higher than the last round of bivalent booster shots. Still, as has been the case with much of the pandemic, there is a stark political divide on the topic. Just 24% of Republicans said they plan to get the new shot, compared to 70% of Democrats, according to the poll.