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CDC Predicts Continued Decline in COVID Hospitalizations and Deaths

There have been more than 717,000 Covid-19 deaths in the US, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. But despite those upsettingly large numbers, there is some good news, for a change: Covid-19 deaths and hospitalizations are expected to decline over the next four weeks, according to ensemble forecasts from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published Wednesday. Thirty-five states have fully vaccinated more than half of their residents while five more — Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts — have fully vaccinated more than two-thirds, according to data from the CDC.

The latest CDC forecast predicts 500 to 10,100 new confirmed Covid-19 hospitalizations likely to be reported by November 5th — a fifth straight week of projected declines. As of October 12th, there were 64,332 people hospitalized with Covid-19, according to US Health and Human Services (HHS)data. The new CDC forecast also now predicts 740,000 to 762,000 reported deaths by November 6th. It’s the third consecutive week of a projected decrease in newly reported deaths.

 

The CDC is still presenting an optimistic outlook, but one which needs to be tempered by the still-high rate of infections, especially in children, which remains “exceptionally high,” with 148,222 cases reported in the week ending October 7th, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published Monday. Children represented nearly a quarter of weekly reported Covid-19 cases, the AAP said.

Over the last week, an average of 87,676 people reported infections and 1,559 people died of Covid-19 a day, according to the Johns Hopkins data. The infection rate still remains well above what’s needed, which Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday should be below 10,000.

With winter threatening a severe flu season combined with more people spending time indoors to increase spread, experts worry cases could go back up again. The risk is higher for children, many of whom are still not yet eligible for vaccination. Currently, vaccines are only available for children as young as 12, although Pfizer and BioNTech have requested an emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration for younger children.

The NIH recently announced the “mix and match” approach to the vaccine boosters could be just as, and in some cases, even more, effective than the vaccines alone.



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