Apr 6, 2022 - COVID

COVID hospitalizations continue sliding

Illustration of a dial with progressively larger coronavirus icon for settings.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to decline in Nashville.

By the numbers: There were 29 active COVID hospitalizations on Wednesday, according to the Metro Public Health Department, down from more than 500 in early February.

  • That's the lowest count since the city started tracking the data point, although numbers can fluctuate as staff process cases.

Why it matters: Vanderbilt University Medical Center infectious diseases expert William Schaffner tells Axios that preventing hospitalizations and serious disease has been "the main public health goal" during the pandemic.

  • Maintaining low hospitalizations could be another signal that we're moving out of the pandemic phase and into one where COVID is a more manageable virus.

Yes, but: The Omicron subvariant BA.2 could still cause a spike in the U.S., Schaffner says. The threat of new variants underscores the need for continued vaccinations.

Flash forward: Schaffner says public health officials will need to fight "vaccine fatigue" in the likely event that regular COVID boosters are needed in the coming months and years.

  • Schaffner says that "remains a huge, huge challenge," pointing to the relatively slow uptake for the first wave of boosters.

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