COVID Map Shows Where Hospitalizations Have Risen Most

Fourteen U.S. states have had a substantial increase in coronavirus hospitalizations in the latest recorded week compared to the seven days prior, new maps produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show.

While there were 16,239 new admissions with the virus across the U.S. in the week ending November 11—an overall rise of 8.6 percent on the previous seven days—these increases have been higher in the upper Midwest, parts of the South Atlantic and southern Mountain regions. At the same time, the prevalence of positive tests has been elevated across the Midwest.

The uptick in hospitalizations is something health officials have expected as we enter the winter months.

Colder weather tends to lead to an increased spread in viruses and other infections, as immunity is lower, while one 2020 study suggested the COVID virus could remain active for longer in cold, dry conditions.

A CDC spokesperson previously told Newsweek that October usually marked the “typical start of the respiratory virus season” and said hospitalization rates “could increase” heading into the winter months.

A map of U.S. states showing the percentage change in hospital admissions with COVID-19 in the week ending November 11, 2023, compared to the week prior. Dark orange denotes states where hospitalizations have increased in excess of 20 percent; light orange where they have increased more than 10 percent; yellow were hospitalizations are “stable”; light green where there has been a 10 percent decrease; and dark green where there has been more than a 20 percent decrease.

Hospitalizations with COVID-19 had risen steadily since late June before peaking at the start of September. They since appear to have fallen slightly but have remained largely stable through October and into November, hovering around 15,000 nationwide. The levels remain well below the highest recorded peak of over 150,600 patients in the week ending January 15, 2021.

The latest figures, released on Friday, show Vermont had seen the greatest rise in hospitalizations, up by 70 percent on the previous week. Iowa and Alaska saw increases of 60 percent compared to the week before, while, in Montana, Minnesota and Hawaii, hospital admissions with the virus were up by more than 30 percent.

The Virginias, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Nebraska, North Dakota, New Mexico, Arizona and Washington D.C. all saw increases of over 20 percent. The rest of the east north central states, parts of the South and Utah saw moderate increases of between 10 and 20 percent.

While the magnitude of the rises in some states might be startling, this may be because they represent a relatively low number of hospital admissions. In Vermont, there were just 43 hospitalizations in a week, out of a total of 6,609 since August 2020.

The only states that saw moderate decreases, of 10 to 20 percent, were Florida and Massachusetts. Substantial drops were seen in Rhode Island and New Jersey, of 33.3 percent and 34.2 percent respectively.

Nationwide, there has been a 1.8 percent rise in the number of patients occupying intensive-care unit beds with COVID-19, representing the worst cases, which usually require ventilation.

Localized rises through the summer prompted some private institutions, hospital operators, and colleges in the U.S. to reintroduce the requirements for staff or visitors to wear masks while at their sites. Many of the institutions have since relaxed their mask mandates, though some hospitals in New Jersey later brought them back in response to infection rates.