The Weather: While this is the calmest the map has looked since the Spring, 96.2% of the population still lives with substantial or higher transmission. In particular, the East Coast seems to be heating up again.
On Variants: The variant picture remains unclear. BA5 is still most common at 81 percent, but has been decreasing for the past 6 weeks. Both BA4.6 (blue, aka Aeterna) and BF.7 (lime green, aka Minotaur) are showing continued growth.
Aeterna is most common in the central Plains, while the Northeast is showing higher rates of both Aeterna & Minotaur.
The abundance of variants circulating now are slowly finding & using the same mutations–likely to evade immunity & spread faster. Vaccine-only plans do not address this problem–we need to drive down transmission using layers of protection.
Wastewater Monitoring: Nationally, we continue to see a decrease in wastewater levels–though these levels are much higher than the previous 2 years at the same date. Levels are highest & rising slightly in the Northeast; the Midwest may also be seeing a small increase.
Hospitalizations: Hospitalizations are decreasing generally, which is good news. However, we are already seeing signs of increases in the Northeast.
We’ve seen this pattern many times before–cases start to rise in the NE and then sweep across the country. Given increased hospitalizations in the UK & Europe this week (another common early warning sign), the fall surge is likely about to start.
Deaths: From September 22nd through September 28th, 3,088 people died of COVID nationally. 227,765 people have died of COVID in 2022 so far.
Pregnancy: A recent article stressed the dangers of COVID during pregnancy & the safety of vaccines. COVID in pregnancy increased premature delivery, preeclampsia, stillbirth, neonatal mortality & maternal mortality. The vaccine is safe & protects both pregnant people & babies.
On Long COVID: A new paper on Long COVID seeks to educate physicians on the symptoms, causes, and appropriate ways to support patients with Long COVID. It may be helpful to share with your health care provider if you have persistent or new symptoms after COVID.
The CDC wants you to Fall Into Healthy Habits, further pushing the responsibility of COVID onto individuals. We need a centralized response. While attending routine checkups, eating healthy & getting exercise is good advice, it is ineffective in stopping the spread of COVID.
Join us in demanding that Biden & Congress promote safety & equity: We need layers of protection via free, quality masking & testing, ventilation and air filtration, universal health care, vaccines, treatments, and paid sick leave.
In the meantime, stay up to date with vaccines – including the new bivalent booster, wear high quality masks, use ventilation and HEPA filters whenever inside with others, and test & isolate when sick.
For mask options for children, find data on sizing here.
If you cannot afford or are having trouble accessing N95 masks, contact @musewendi. They are also accepting donations to support this effort!
Notes: 1) The numbers in this report were current as of 9/29. The CDC updates data frequently as it receives refreshed information. Today’s numbers may be slightly different from the data here. 2) Check out the links throughout & see our website for more! https://peoplescdc.org.