New cases of COVID-19 in the United States rose 5% to more than 450,000 last week, the third week in a row that infections have increased, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county data.
The average number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals rose 4% to over 37,000 in the week ended April 4, breaking a string of 11 weeks of declining admissions.
Health officials have expressed concerns about an increase in travel around the Easter break and school spring break, at a time when more infectious variants of the coronavirus are circulating.
While influenza viruses tend to be seasonal, with cases decreasing as the weather warms, health officials said they had not seen similar trends with the new coronavirus, indicating an increase of COVID-19 cases in some areas last summer.
“I don’t think we should even think about relying on the weather to get us out of everything we are right now,” Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease specialist, said during a press briefing on Monday.
Twenty-seven out of 50 states reported an increase in new cases last week compared to the previous seven days, according to Reuters analysis.
Per 100,000 people, Michigan, New Jersey and New York reported both the most new cases and the most hospitalizations.
Deaths from COVID-19, which tend to delay infections for weeks, fell 17% to around 5,800 last week, or around 834 per day. Health officials have said the country’s vaccination effort could limit deaths even with an increase in cases.
For a sixth week, vaccinations set a record, with an average of 3.1 million vaccines administered per day last week. As of Sunday, 32% of the U.S. population had received at least one dose and 19% were fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
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