U.S. COVID cases on the rise again
After two months of plummeting COVID cases across the U.S., the virus is on the rise again, with the Northeast accounting for many of the new cases.
The big picture: We knew this was coming. Now it's just a matter of seeing how large an impact this surge of the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron has in the U.S.
"We've got to be careful, but I don't think this is a moment where we need to be excessively concerned," White House's COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha told the Today show this week, pointing to low infection numbers and hospitalizations.
By the numbers: Nationwide, there were an average of more than 31,500 cases, up 14% from the nearly 28,000 cases reported two weeks ago.
- Cases are on the rise in 27 states, plus the District of Columbia.
- The Northeast, in particular, is seeing some of the highest case rates, such as New York, which had 25.7 cases per 100,000 people. Officials in New York said Wednesday two new subvariants of BA.2 are circulating there, which may explain why New York has become a hot spot, the New York Times reported.
- Rhode Island had case rate with 32.1 new cases per 100,000 people.
- Several Southern states continued reporting drops in cases, including North Carolina which had 1.7 new cases per 100,000 people.
There were about 530 deaths a day, down 24% from the about 700 deaths a day two weeks ago.
What's next: The White House on Wednesday announced a two-week extension of its transportation mask mandate, which had been due to expire on Monday, and also renewed the COVID public health emergency for at least three more months.