12/16/22 – Weekly Health Update

CHAP’s Weekly Health Update
In this “one-stop-shop” update, CHAP will provide a roundup of important COVID-19, Flu, and other information from various federal sources.

All health care providers should be monitoring COVID-19 incidence rates in their state/county on an ongoing basis.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC provides weekly data about case rates, deaths, testing, and vaccine administration on their COVID tracker webpage.


COVID-19 Variants by region & Map Key

CDC and Other Federal Health Updates

Coronavirus (COVID-19) (12/13/22)
HHS and our federal partners are working together with state, local, tribal and territorial governments, public health officials, health care providers, researchers, private sector organizations and the public to execute a whole-of-America response to the COVID-19 pandemic that protects the health and safety of the American people and moves the country forward safely.

  • The President’s National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan focuses on four key goals:
  • Protect against and treat COVID-19
  • Prepare for new variants
  • Prevent economic and educational shutdowns
  • Continue to lead the effort to vaccinate the world and save lives


Long Covid responsible for thousands of US deaths, report says, but true numbers are likely much higher (12/14/22)
Long Covid leaves some people with long-term symptoms, but it can be deadly, too. It played a part in at least 3,544 deaths in the United States in the first 30 months of the Covid-19 pandemic, a new report says. The report is the first official attempt by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics to quantify the number of long Covid deaths in the United States.

Some experts say this finding is probably a significant undercount, considering that up to 30% of people who get Covid-19 go on to have long-term symptoms, according to the CDC.


Who is dying and being hospitalized with the coronavirus? (12/44/22)
Most Americans being hospitalized and dying from covid-19 are people 65 or older, according to Washington Post.  While the number of daily deaths from the virus has declined substantially since 2020, more than 400 people still die daily on average, according to the most recently updated weekly data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Post reported last month that, for the first time, a majority of Americans dying from covid “received at least the primary series of the vaccine. Fifty-eight percent of coronavirus deaths in August were people who were vaccinated or boosted, according to an analysis conducted for The Health 202 by Cynthia Cox, vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.”

Health experts say this reflects multiple factors. For one, the people at greatest risk of dying from covid are older Americans, and they are more likely to have been vaccinated. And, as Beard writes, it also is a numbers game: “At this point in the pandemic, a large majority of Americans have received at least their primary series of coronavirus vaccines, so it makes sense that vaccinated people are making up a greater share of fatalities.” Additionally, vaccines lose strength over time, and they have proved less effective against stopping the spread of a mutating virus.


‘The situation in the hospitals is grim’: States face brutal virus fallout (12/11/22)
State health officials are warning people that time is running out to get vaccinated before gathering with family over the holidays as Covid-19 cases surge nationwide alongside unseasonably severe waves of flu and respiratory syncytial virus.

The guidance comes after two excruciating holiday seasons that sent Covid-19 cases and deaths skyrocketing. And it underscores the ongoing struggle of public health officials at the state and federal level to get Americans vaccinated against the flu and Covid.

Nearly 30,000 people currently in the hospital have tested positive for Covid-19, according to the CDC, up 30 percent since Thanksgiving — with New York, Arizona and New Mexico among the hardest hit.


Seasonal CDC FluView Data (2022-2023)
Note the state in dark blue and red that have very high flu rates at this time. Please take proper infection control actions in these areas.


A trifecta of respiratory viruses – Covid, RSV and flu – is taxing hospitals across the nation (12/13/22)
Across the country, overflow health care workers are struggling to catch their breath as hospitals fill with sick patients battling a trifecta of respiratory illnesses – Covid-19, RSV and the flu. Last week, hospitals across the nation were the fullest they have been throughout the pandemic, reaching 80% capacity, which is an 8 percentage-point jump in two weeks. That’s also the highest level since the Omicron surge in January. This week, hospital capacity has improved slightly.

While RSV appears to have peaked in the US, both Covid and flu infections are on the rise. All but seven states are experiencing high or very high respiratory virus activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC advises that people in areas with high Covid-19 community levels wear a mask.