COVID data tracker weekly review : interpretive summary for January 20, 2023
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COVID data tracker weekly review : interpretive summary for January 20, 2023

Filetype[PDF-2.77 MB]

  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      A Better Data Picture
    • Description:
      A Better Data Picture

      For the past two years, COVID-19 has dominated respiratory disease activity in the United States, with other respiratory viruses circulating at lower levels than usual. But that trend has changed this year—flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) have been on the rise, especially among children. The combination of flu, RSV, and COVID-19 has strained healthcare systems this fall and winter. Therefore, it is important to continue to track COVID-19 on its own, but also in the context of these other respiratory illnesses and hospital use overall.

      CDC recently released three new tools that allow people to see hospitalization and emergency department data and compare trends across seasons and by respiratory disease type.

      - COVID Data Tracker’s Hospital Capacity and Utilization page is a centralized location for hospital-related data that is updated daily. It tracks overall inpatient bed occupancy, COVID-19 inpatient bed occupancy, overall ICU bed occupancy, and COVID-19 ICU bed occupancy, by state and hospital bed type (adult and pediatric).

      - The Respiratory Virus Hospitalization Surveillance Network (RESP-NET) interactive dashboard displays data on respiratory virus-associated hospitalizations. It’s updated weekly to help public health professionals visualize trends in virus circulation, estimate disease burden, and respond to outbreaks.

      - The National Emergency Department Visits for COVID-19, Influenza, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus dashboard, which is updated weekly, displays data on emergency department patient visits with diagnosed COVID-19, influenza, or RSV. By tracking patients in emergency departments with these respiratory virus infections, public health professionals can detect unusual levels of certain respiratory illnesses, which can serve as an early warning system for troubling increases or outbreaks.

      Tracking hospitalizations and emergency department visits overall and associated with respiratory viruses can help public health officials detect, understand, and monitor health events and strain on our healthcare system. It can also help people make decisions such as choosing to mask in public to protect themselves and others from respiratory illness, including COVID-19.

    • Content Notes:
      It’s time to pick out your costume and get ready to celebrate Halloween! Over the past two-plus years, we’ve learned new ways to enjoy pandemic holidays, and “outside is always safer” has been the mantra for these holiday gatherings. Luckily, that’s easy to do on Halloween, because trick-or-treating generally involves plenty of outdoor time. But that doesn’t mean it’s totally risk-free. Here are some more tips for staying COVID-safe this Halloween.

      • Stay home if you’re sick. Skip the Halloween party if you aren’t feeling well.

      • Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

      • Take precautions in crowded or indoor events as informed by your county’s COVID-19 Community Level, like wearing a high-quality mask (and Halloween masks don’t count). Consider making the mask part of the costume—like a doctor, nurse, ninja, or cowboy.

      • If you’re hosting celebrations, review options for improving ventilation in your home. This can help you reduce virus particles in your home and keep COVID-19 from spreading.

      • Keep your hands clean. If you’re out trick-or-treating, bring hand sanitizer. If you’re giving out candy, wash your hands frequently.

      And of course, the best way to protect yourself and others from severe illness from COVID-19 on Halloween (and every day) is to stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations! Use this tool to find out when you can get a booster.

      Note to Readers: On October 12, 2022, CDC recommended updated (bivalent) COVID-19 boosters for children ages 5 years and older in the United States, making the updated boosters available to millions of children in this age group.

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