COVID-19 cases increase, hospitalizations slightly up

Despite a lack of robust data tracking, health care experts note COVID-19 cases are up, with older and vulnerable people more likely to be hospitalized due to the virus. The winter weather, associated travel and gatherings, and the contagious dominant JN.1 Omicron variant are the main reasons behind the surge. However, health systems have not been overwhelmed by the hospitalization rates. For the week ending Jan. 6, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 35,801 hospitalizations, up 3.2% from the prior week. Total deaths are up 14.3% for the most recent week to 1.167 million. (The Hill article, 1/12/24)