The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is continuing to post weekly data, in its latest COVIDView report, showing that the U.S. fight against the virus that causes COVID-19 is going pretty well.
An independent group, The COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic, is publishing state hospitalization tracking data showing that the fight is back where it was in mid-April, when a flood of COVID-19 cases was overwhelming hospital intensive care units in New York City.
- The CDC’s weekly COVID-19 report is available here.
- The COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic is available here.
- An overview article about the weekly COVID-19 report for the previous week is available here.
A tracking map the CDC uses to show what’s happening with reports of new cases, “out in the community” — in doctors’ offices, urgent care clinics and hospital emergency rooms — continues to be mostly green, indicating minimal levels of activity. The map shows that the level of activity in Louisiana has bounced back up to a moderate level.
A CDC chart that tracks the number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalization shows that the number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations per 100,000 U.S. residents has increased, modestly, to about 5 per 100,000, as of the week ending July 4, from 4 per 100,000 a week earlier. CDC figures for the week ending July 11, which may suffer from data reporting delays, show the COVID-19 hospitalization rate may have returned to 4 per 100,000 lives.
But The COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic, which gathers data directly from state and local public health agencies, says that, as of July 13, the number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations has increased to more than 57,000, or 17 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, up from about 28,000, or 8 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, in mid-June.
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 is has increased to close to the peak count, of 59,538, that The COVID Tracking Project reported April 15.
At the state level, in states with data, the hospitalization rate, as of July 13, ranges from a low of about 1.3 per 100,000, in Maine, to a high of 46 per 100,000, in Arizona. The numbers mean that, in Arizona, about 1 in every 2,000 residents may be in the hospital with confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19.
The CDC was reporting a similar stream of hospitalization data. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that it’s shifting to a different strategy for collecting hospitalization data and will no longer be posting the results on the web.
The COVID Tracking Project hospitalization data appears to reflect the news reports coming out of states like Arizona and Texas better than the CDC’s community-level activity map does. Officials in many states in the South and Southwest have reported high numbers of new cases, and, in some cases, especially in Arizona and Florida, shortages of hospital ICU beds.
One challenge, for agents and brokers who want to use The COVID Tracking Project data in their own client newsletters and social media efforts, is that The COVID Tracking Project effort is a private effort. The team is publishing its data using a Creative Commons license that lets news organizations use the data but requires other types of commercial organizations, such as insurance agencies and, possibly, actuarial consulting firms, to seek permission from The COVID Tracking Project team before using large batches of the data.
When the CDC compiles public health data, it normally classifies the data as being in the public domain, meaning that actuarial firms, life insurers, insurance agencies and other insurance organizations can use the data without seeking special permission or paying a licensing fee.
For a look at The COVID Tracking Project’s state-by-state hospitalization rate numbers, see the table below.
COVID-19 Hospitalization Rate, by State
|This chart shows the number of people hospitalized with confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, per 100,000 lives.|
|District of Columbia||13.2|
|* No data available.|
|Sources: Hospitalization numbers: The COVID Tracking Project (CC BY-NC 4.0). Population: Census Bureau, 2019 estimates.|
— Read COVID-19 Might Have Caused $2 Billion in U.S. Life Claims So Far, on ThinkAdvisor.