COVID cases rise again in half the states
Half of the states are seeing COVID case numbers rise again while nationwide totals continue to fall.
The big picture: The Omicron subvariant known as BA.2 is the dominant strain circulating around the U.S., accounting for almost three out of every four cases.
- As in-person gatherings have begun again, COVID has sickened a number of Washington A-listers, reminding everyone — yet again — we're not out of the woods with this pandemic.
By the numbers: Overall, cases dropped 5% across the U.S. to an average of about 28,700 cases from an average of more than 30,000 cases two weeks ago.
- Three states — Alaska, Vermont and Rhode Island — had more than 20 new cases per 100,000 people.
- Nine states — Utah, Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, Louisiana, Iowa, Arkansas, Indiana and Tennessee — had three or fewer new cases per 100,000 people.
Between the lines: Deaths fell to an average of 600 a day, down 34% from just over 900 a day two weeks ago.
What we're watching: While U.S. officials have said they aren't expecting a significant rise in hospitalizations or deaths, there have been signs of hospitalizations rising among older individuals in the U.K., the Guardian reported.
- Since those numbers lag behind new cases, we won't have a clear view of that impact in the U.S. for a few weeks.
- The highly contagious subvariant surged through parts of Europe but probably will spare many Americans, thanks in part to this winter's Omicron surge.