Aug 21, 2023 - COVID

Michigan's falling COVID-19 hospitalizations

Change in COVID-19 hospitalization rate
Data: CDC; Note: Change in average weekly rate at a sample of 6,000 hospitals from June 4 to July 1 and July 2-29, 2023; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Statewide COVID-19 hospitalization rates fell 32% between June and July despite signs of a late summer wave in other parts of the country.

By the numbers: The average COVID-19 hospitalization rate nationwide rose about 17% between June and July, per the latest available CDC data.

  • A new variant, EG.5, is now the dominant form in the U.S., according to CDC estimates — though it's unclear if it's directly responsible for the rising numbers.

Zoom out: Michigan, Vermont and Rhode Island (both down 31%) are the only states with rates that decreased 30% or more during the time period.

  • Mississippi (73%), Louisiana (66%) and Alabama (66%) saw the largest increases.

Reality check: In both percentage change and raw terms, nationwide hospitalizations remain far below their pandemic-era peak.

  • They're down 82% year over year. The CDC reports 10,320 overall hospital admissions between July 30-Aug. 5, compared with more than 150,000 in one week in January 2022.
  • Michigan's rate is down 88% from this time last year.
Data: CDC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: Many of us put COVID-19 in our rearview mirrors, leaving many Americans potentially mentally and practically ill-prepared for another wave.

  • Experts warn the U.S. is now lacking critical tools to help manage future waves, Axios' Sabrina Moreno recently reported.

What's next: An updated booster is due out this fall. While it wasn't specifically designed with EG.5 in mind, it will likely offer at least some protection, experts told NBC News.

  • Those behind on their shots need to decide whether it makes sense to wait for the updated booster, or to beef up their protection now in the face of this uptick.
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