People’s CDC COVID-19 Weather Report


The Weather: As of April 27, about 31% of US counties are experiencing substantial or higher COVID transmission and 47% at moderate transmission based on available data. 

Although fewer parts of the country are experiencing high rates of COVID transmission, the current state of the COVID pandemic requires that we remain vigilant in most areas across the US as this trend similarly occurred in the first half of calendar year 2021.

As of April 1, Iowa (shown in gray) no longer reports COVID data to the CDC (Note: More states may appear in gray as the current Biden administration works to end the Public Health Emergency).

Map and table show COVID transmission levels by US county as of April 27, 2023 in four colored categories. These categories show the number of cases per 100,000 population and percent positivity in the past 7 days. High (red) is at or above 100 or 10 percent. Substantial (orange) is 50-99 or 8-9.9 percent. Moderate (yellow) is 10-49 or 5-7.9 percent. Low (blue) is less than 10 or 5 percent. The US shows mixed colors, with areas of yellow predominating on the west coast and Northeast. Iowa is gray due to no data recording. Text in bottom right: 30.51 percent of US counties are experiencing substantial or higher transmission. Transmission Level table shows 17.78 percent (573 counties) have high transmission, 12.73 percent (410 counties) have substantial transmission, 47.05 percent (1516 counties) have moderate transmission, and 19.37 percent (624 counties) have low transmission. A purple footer reads “People’s CDC” to the left and “Transmission intensity, per CDC data” to the right.


People continue to fight locally and nationally to protect each other from the harms of COVID! This week, we’re continuing to highlight those fighting to #KeepMasksInHealthcare.

With your support, over 400,000 letters were sent to the Chief Executive Officers and Chief Medical Officers of healthcare systems across the country in a push to maintain universal masking. The People’s CDC also organized a phonebank last week to demand legislators preserve protections in healthcare including universal masking in healthcare settings and the continuation of free PCR testing programs.

Our neighbors up north in Vancouver, British Columbia, through @DoNoHarmBC, organized a protest with a mock die-in at the office of their public health officials to express the ongoing severe risk of mortality and demand the return of universal masking in high-risk and healthcare settings.

Overseas, the Health Ministry of Italy announced that they will minimally maintain universal masking in healthcare settings through the end of calendar year 2023, which will keep healthcare settings safer for all.

You can get involved locally or nationally, go to @mandatemasksus to keep up on all sorts of mask-related advocacy no matter where in the country you are!

On Variants

XBB.1.5 (Kraken) remains the most prominent variant in the US, representing 68.8% of cases as of 4/29/2023, a slight decrease from last week.

XBB.1.16 (Arcturus) is dark purple on the CDC’s variant proportion graph and is the second most prevalent variant, representing 11.7% of cases – a slight increase over the last few weeks. XBB.1.9.1 (Hyperion) shows a slight increase to 9.0% as the third most prevalent variant. 

A stacked bar chart shows x-axis as weeks and y-axis as percentage of viral lineages among infections. Bar chart is titled  “Weighted and Nowcast Estimates in United States for Weeks of 1/22/2023-4/29/2023.” Table is titled “Nowcast Estimates in United States for 4/23/2023-4/29/2023.” The recent 3 weeks are Nowcast projections. For 4/29, XBB.1.16 (dark purple) has emerged as the second dominant variant at 11.7 percent. XBB.1.9.1 (blue) has increased slightly to 9 percent. XBB.1.5 (medium purple) predominates and slightly decreased to 68.8 percent. Other variants including XBB1.9.2, XBB, XBB.1.5.1, FD.2 and others are smaller percentages represented by a handful of other colors as small slivers.

Wastewater Monitoring

National wastewater data continues to plateau, with the Midwest, Northeast, and South mirroring that trend, while the Western region of the country actually shows a slight decrease this past week.

Top title reads “Wastewater: Effective SARS-CoV-2 virus concentration (copies / mL of sewage). Line graph shows the levels of COVID detected in wastewater by US region, each region with a different color trend line. The y-axis shows copies per mL of sewage and the x-axis shows time labels between November 2, 2022 and April 26, 2023. A legend map of the US in the center shows the West region as green, South as pink, Midwest as purple, and Northeast as orange. The national average is shown as a dashed light cyan line. Virus concentrations show a plateau or slight decrease since the end of March for three regions except in the West where a slight increase is happening. Nationwide is 211 copies/mL, Midwest 217 copies/mL, Northeast 194 copies/mL, South 178 copies/mL and West 270 copies/mL.

Some regions of the country can get an even closer view of wastewater levels, including Sars-Cov2 and other dangerous pathogens, in their area using:


Hospitalizations continue on a downward trend reaching near lows of mid 2021 and early 2022. The national average as of April 26, 2023, was 0.45 new admissions per 100,000 population, and in the 70 years and older age group the hospitalization rate was 2.26 per 100,000 population.

 Image of line graphs titled “New Admissions of Patients with Confirmed COVID-19” from Aug 1, 2020, to Apr 26, 2023. A line graph showing hospitalizations for all ages is on the left, and is broken down by age group on the right. The y-axis is labeled “New Admissions per 100,000 Population” and ranges from 0 to 7 for all ages and 0 to 20 by age group. The x-axis is time from Aug 1, 2020, to Apr 12, 2023. Current hospitalizations are at a rate of 0.45 per 100,000 people. 70+ (solid red-purple) is the highest for the whole graph with a larger gap within the last year, followed by 60-69 (dashed dark pink), and then progressively decreasing by decade, with the last 2 groups being 0-17 years (solid gold) and 18-29 years (dashed light cyan). In the last month, all ages are slightly decreasing. Age 70+ admissions are at about 2.26 per 100,000. The other age groups are about 1 or less.
Source: CDC COVID Data Tracker: Hospital Admissions


For the reporting week ending April 12, 2023, 1,052 Americans died of COVID. Over 1,130,662 Americans have died from COVID since the beginning of the pandemic.

External Review

In the face of on-going and ever increasing political and corporate pressure to return to unsafe pre-pandemic activities despite the growing death toll and millions affected by long COVID and in direct response to the CDC’s own internal review from Spring 2022, the People’s CDC launched our own People’s Review of the CDC. 

Titled, “Too Many Deaths, Too Many Left Behind,” it calls on the CDC to implement evidence-based and ethical public health approaches that protect people. Please share the external review with others to demonstrate what is needed to improve public health and demand for a proper response from the CDC in the future. 

Reinfection and Long COVID

While the issue is still being studied, repeat COVID infections may put people at higher risk of additional health issues in the future, according to this news article from the Nature Science Journal. 

Although some scientists have slightly different views, we still do not completely understand the full extent of the harms caused by a COVID infection/reinfection or the full implications of Long COVID. At this point, the only way to avoid these health complications or Long COVID is to avoid a COVID infection or reinfection altogether

Get Involved


#KeepthePHE! Demand that the Biden Administration maintains the Public Health Emergency past May 11, 2023.  Sign this letter to voice your support. Call the White House – 202-456-1111!

A purple graphic with pink and yellow text “TAKE ACTION” in the upper left corner, and main body “Call the White House 202-456-1111 Tues-Thurs 11-3 ET LET THEM KNOW: The pandemic is not over. We need to legislate access to healthcare, COVID tests, treatment, vaccines, masks, paid sick leave. Use these slides as a script along with your personal reasons. @PeoplesCDC is listed at the bottom, and the People’s CDC round purple logo is at the lower right.

We must maintain free access to PCR testing, COVID vaccines, and the CDC must continue conducting surveillance and publicly report COVID cases across the country at the county and national levels. Learn more about the consequences of the end of the Public Health Emergency here. Take action by following the steps below: 

Image shows background with green and blue colors. White square is centered with text that reads, "How to Take Action. The CDC’s Increasing Access to Testing Program (ICATT) has the authority to continue providing no-cost COVID testing.   Write ICATT, CDC and Congress: Tell them to Make Free, Fast PCR Tests Accessible to Everyone. Follow up with a call to your Congresspeople.  Use our form:  email CDC directly: ("

Universal Masking

Contact your local healthcare system and demand universal masking in healthcare settings. You can find scripts on what to say and specific contact information for your local hospital here. Consider protesting in front of your local healthcare system, an organization in Maryland successfully accomplished this.

Image shows background with blue color. Top of image with text reads, "We Must Act."Teal square is centered with text separated into five bullet points that reads, "Write and Call Hospital CEOs: Call your Governor: tell them to protect disabled people and elders lives. Call your State Senators and Representatives to pressure Governors and DPH to keep masks in healthcare. Call Healthcare Patient Advocates. Tell them to publicly announce masks will be their new infection control standard. Join a local group or start your own.”
Image shows background with blue color. Top of image with text reads, "It's all our duty to act to keep masks in healthcare." Pink square is centered with text that reads, "Organize A Small, N95- Masked Protest in Front of Your Hospital. Tell the Press. Post Your Action + Tag us. Use These Materials." Bottom of image with text reads, "More resources available"

Protect yourself, whatever the weather

Even though the CDC could not prevent their own conference from having a COVID outbreak because they did not implement any layers of protections, there are many layers of protections that you can implement affordably and practically in many different situations and environments to ensure safer in-person gathering

If you have insurance, make sure to get your monthly 8 rapid COVID tests at your local pharmacy assuming that the current administration continues to end the Public Health Emergency on May 11th.

Notes: 1) The numbers in this report were current as of 4/27/23. Today’s numbers may be slightly different from the data here. 2) Check out the links throughout & see our website for more –

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