By Zachary Stieber
The number of hospital patients in the United States with COVID-19 has dropped consistently in recent weeks, reaching a low not seen since early August, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.
An average of 41,162 patients with COVID-19 were in hospitals between Oct. 28 and Nov. 3, the data show.
That’s the lowest seven-day average since Aug. 1.
Hospitalizations with COVID-19 hit a low of 12,032 in late June but soon climbed sharply, fueled by a wave of hospitalizations in southern states. Over 93,000 people were hospitalized with the disease by early September.
But as cases, hospitalizations, and deaths fell in many states in recent weeks, even with an increase in northern and western states the hospitalization numbers have repeatedly dropped.
Hospitalizations are unlikely to rise again soon, based on new hospital admissions with COVID-19. The 1.5 admissions per 100,000 recorded on Nov. 3 was the lowest rate since July 25, according to CDC data.
The rate of admissions has declined recently across all age groups.
An ensemble of national forecasts indicate that daily hospital admissions will continue to drop, though there’s a potential for a fresh jump. However, state- and territory-level ensemble forecasts project the number of new patients with COVID-19 will drop in 15 jurisdictions while increasing in just one.
COVID-19 cases and deaths have also dropped in recent weeks by significant amounts and are predicted to continue dropping in the near future.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC’s director, in a recent briefing, noted the declining figures but encouraged people to continue nonetheless with mitigation measures, including wearing a mask indoors and staying home when sick.
Public health authorities are also urging parents to get children between 5 and 11 vaccinated, even though they’re at little risk of contracting severe cases of COVID-19.