COVID-19 Deaths Continue to Decline, While Hospitalizations Increase in Some States

Healthcare worker put a test swab into a container after swabbing the driver at a newly opened drive-through COVID-19 testing site at the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair & Exposition center, Wednesday, April 8, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

The COVID Tracking Project reported on Monday that COVID-19 deaths continue to fall in the United States but also noted in a series of tweets the number of cases is up slightly over the past seven days and that they are watching closely five states where current hospitalizations have increased over the past two weeks.

Nate Silver added his own analysis of the recent COVID-19 data:

Current hospitalizations of COVID-19 are down from the peak. According to the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management COVID-19 Hospitalization Tracking Project, there were 22,639 current hospitalizations in the United States on Monday among the 42 states that keep and report that data. This is a dramatic decline from April 13, when there were 18,829 hospitalizations in New York State alone.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 118,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, according to Worldometers. (The COVID Tracking Project currently lists 110,000 deaths.) The vast majority of those deaths are among those over the age of 65.

Former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson added a note of skepticism Monday in the way the media has been reporting on COVID-19 data.

But Berenson told Fox News host Martha MacCallum of The Story on Friday:

“We keep talking about cases, cases, cases, cases, cases. In this case, the media is using that to refer to positive test results,” Berenson told host Martha MacCallum. “It’s not clinically meaningful. What’s clinically meaningful is that people wind up in the hospital, if people wind up certainly on ventilators or ICU’s, those are dangerous things.

“The thing that we know about COVID-19 … is that your risk of getting really sick from it is incredibly dependent on your age,” Berenson added. “So if we’ve a thousand cases in nursing homes, it’s very, very different than a thousand cases at a Whirlpool plant where people are much younger, much less at a college …

“I’m not saying there’s nothing to be concerned about. I’m not saying there’s nothing to watch,” Berenson continued. “We need to follow the data, just as we always have. But the media, the media just wants panic.”

CNN reported last week, “the number of Covid-19 hospitalizations since Memorial Day has gone up in at least a dozen states: Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.”

In a series of tweets on Thursday, Berenson added a note of caution on reports of increases in current hospitalizations for COVID-19 in California, Texas, North Carolina, and several other states, asserting that “the media is both confused and conflating several different data points in an effort to stir hysteria.”

“Overall hospitalizations are rising because people are returning to hospitals for elective (and in some cases very necessary) surgeries that were postponed,” Berenson tweeted, adding:

While the governors of Utah and Oregon have responded to the slight uptick in cases and current hospitalizations in their states by placing a pause on plans to reopen the economy, most other governors in states experiencing case and current hospitalization increases have given no indication of pausing their reopenings.

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