The U.S. may be heading into another COVID-19 surge, with cases rising nationally and in most states after a two-month decline.
Experts don't know how high the mountain will grow, but they don't expect a peak nearly as high as the last one, when the contagious omicron version of the coronavirus ripped through the population. Still, experts warn the coming wave will wash across the nation and push up hospitalizations in a growing number of states, especially those with low vaccination rates, in the coming weeks.
Most cases are now being caused by a subvariant known as BA.2 which is thought to be 30% more contagious.
Despite the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 94% of counties in the U.S. have a “low” spread of the virus.
Just 14 counties in the U.S. have a high spread of the virus where masking in public indoor spaces is urged. The majority of those counties are located in upstate New York.
While COVID-19 cases have seen a slight bump in the last week, deaths continue to fall. The U.S. has averaged 411 coronavirus-related deaths per day in the last week, down from 458 a week ago.
The current COVID-19 levels are still significantly lower than during the January surge. Currently, the U.S. is averaging 35,000 new COVID-19 cases per day, which is down from a peak of nearly 800,000 per day.
In early February, the U.S. averaged more than 2,500 COVID-19 deaths per day.