Healthcare Economy

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Are Up Over 1,000% in These Counties

The COVID-19 pandemic has spread more aggressively in the past month than in any time since the first infections were detected in January 2020. Cases have started to rise at the rate of almost a million a day. Over 150,000 Americans are in hospitals. The death rate per day is nearly 2,000.

Because the Omicron variant of the disease appears to send fewer people to the hospital per 100,000 people infected, and the death rates seem to be lower, many experts believe the best measure of the damage of the disease to public health is hospitalizations. Not all experts agree with this assessment. According to the Inquirer:

Using the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 to gauge the severity of the pandemic may not give an accurate picture in the Omicron era as more and more patients with the virus are being admitted for other reasons, some scientists have said.

Nevertheless, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes the hospitalization data is important enough that it tracks this data via its Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET). Among the information provided by this tracking by the patient is age, sex, date of admission, medical history and outcome.

COVID-19 hospitalizations nationwide number 47 per 100,000 people, based on a seven-day average. Over the past 14 days, this figure has risen 54%.

In many states and counties, the increase in hospitalization is much higher than the national figure. The state with the highest growth rate is Alabama, where the figure is up 144%, followed by Louisiana with a 120% increase.

Some counties have posted hospitalization increases of over 1,000%. These are all in the South. This list is currently topped by St. John the Baptist in Louisiana, where the rise is 1,513%, according to The New York Times.

Next on the list, Oktibbeha, Mississippi, is up 1,303%, then Escambia, Alabama, (1,269%); Winn, Louisiana, (1,268%); and Coffee, Georgia (1,223%). Another 25 counties have posted increases of over 500% in hospitalization over the same period.

Click here to see which is the deadliest state due to COVID-19.

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