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COVID-19 Surge Colors the Northeast Red, and Pink

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What You Need to Know

  • About 1 in 700 U.S. residents tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 in the week ending April 15.
  • Michigan looks bad. So do Minnesota, Pennsylvania, much of New York and most of New England.
  • The infection rate increased 11% last week in most of Minnesota, and in most counties east of Missouri and north of Georgia.

The fourth wave of COVID-19 is threatening the lives of people in Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and most of New York state and New England as well as Michigan.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is showing health insurers and life insurers what’s coming at them in a set of maps included in the Community Profile Report for April 16.

Each daily report includes a spreadsheet full of data and a PDF file of maps and charts. The PDF file shows that the United States as a whole reported 146 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people for the week ending April 15. That means that roughly 1 in 700 U.S. residents tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19.

The national new-case rate was 7.7% higher that week than it was in the week ending April 8.

Individual States

The national numbers hide the fact that the picture looks much worse in some states than in others.

A spike has filled hospitals in Michigan. Red shading on the CDC’s new-case rate map shows that a quieter version of the surge is also affecting many other states: Most counties in Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and the higher-population counties in New York state reported more than 200 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents for the week ending April 15. That means more than 1 in 500 of the people in those states tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

A related map, illustrating new-case rate trends, mostly pink in the Northeast quadrant. The pink shading indicates that the new-case rate increased by 11% or more in most counties in those states, and also in many counties in surrounding states, including Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky and South Carolina.

The spreadsheet file section of the report shows that the median rate of increase for the country as a whole was about 11%.

In Maryland, for example, the officials reported 217 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, and the new-case rate was 76% higher than in the previous rate.

An Age Shift

The CDC spreadsheet shows that about 80% of the 54 million U.S. residents ages 65 and older have had at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose.

Only about 80 million of the 210 million U.S. adults ages 18 through 64, or 38%, have had at least one vaccination dose.

Typically, people with life insurance are ages 30 through 69.

About 28,777 U.S. hospital beds were filled with patients with COVID-19 in the week ending April 15.

The percentage of hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were ages 70 and older fell to 27% April 15, down from 33% March 15, and down from 38%, when the CDC began breaking hospital admissions data out by age group.

The percentage of hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were ages 30 through 69 increased to 61% in the latest week, up from 54% March 15, and up from 51% Feb. 24.

In the past, the death rate for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has been about 15% for patients ages 60 and older and about 3% for patients ages 30 to 59. If the pattern continues, then about 500 of the people ages 30 through 69 who were hospitalized with COVID-19 last week could die.

(Image: NIH)