COVID-19 is continuing to fill U.S. hospital beds.
As of July 20, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 was over 58,000, or about as high as it was in April, when hospitals in the New York City area were scouring the world for ventilators.
Surges in hospitalization rates are now showing up in every state in the South and Southwest other than New Mexico.
At least 1 in every 5,000 residents of those states is in the hospital with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, and about 1 in every 2,500 residents of Arizona and Florida is in the hospital with COVID-19, according to state and local public health agency data compiled by The COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic.
- 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.
New York state and some other states that were hit hard in March and April started to get new infection rates under control in late April.
Those states now have COVID-19 hospitalization rates under 5 per 100,000 residents, meaning that fewer than 1 in 20,000 residents is in the hospital with COVID-19.
The median for the United States is 7.7 COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents, or about 1 hospitalization per 13,000 residents.
The total number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 fell to less than 30,000 throughout much of June, and it looked as if the country might be turning a corner.
But now, hospitalization rates have turned in the wrong direction in much of the country.
Between the week ending July 13 and the week ending July 20, for example, only 15 states reported falling numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents. The rest reported increases.
Impact on Life and Health Insurers
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 400,000 people have entered U.S. hospitals with COVID-19, and that about 134,000 people have died from COVID-19, implying that about 30% of the people who enter U.S. hospitals with COVID-19 die.
In May and June, some life insurance company executives expressed the hope that the country was putting excess COVID-19-related mortality behind it.
But now, the new wave of COVID-19 hospitalizations appears to be likely to lead to a new wave of COVID-19-related deaths.
Globe Life is giving life insurance claim projections indicating that the company expects roughly 225,000 people to die from COVID-19 by the end of the year.
One lingering question is what will happen to disability insurance claims. Anecdotal reports suggest that most young people hospitalized with COVID-19 survive, but that some of the survivors emerge with chronic respiratory or neurological problems.
COVID-19 Hospitalization Rates, by State
|This chart shows the number of people hospitalized with confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, per 100,000 lives, as of July 13, July 20 and Sunday.|
|Population||Number Hospitalized||Hospitalizations per 100,000 lives||Number Hospitalized||Hospitalizations per 100,000 lives||Number Hospitalized||Hospitalizations per 100,000 lives|
|July 13||July 20||July 26|
|District of Columbia||705,749||93||13.2||83||11.8||85||12.0|
|Kansas||2,913,314||Not available||0.0||Not available||Not available||315||10.8|
|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.