The weekly average number of hospital admissions due to COVID-19 has dropped in the last week for the first time since the end of June, according to data released by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The HHS data shows that the seven-day average of new daily admissions with confirmed cases of COVID-19 dropped by 2.4% compared to the week before with 12,280 admissions, which was the first time a drop has been recorded since June 27.
Bloomberg News notes that the decline includes parts of the southern U.S., like Florida and Texas, which recently experienced a surge in cases.
However, ABC News reports that with almost 104,000 people currently hospitalized, hospitalizations have reached their highest point in over half a year. One hundred percent of intensive care units in Alabama and 96% of ICUs in Georgia are currently full, and almost 1,000 COVID-19 deaths are being reported in the U.S. per day for the highest average rate in over five months.
CDC scientist Dr. Sara Oliver said in a recent presentation to the agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices that while COVID-19 “vaccines remain effective in preventing hospitalization and severe disease,” they “might be less effective in preventing infection or milder symptomatic illness,” possibly due to the protection diminishing over time and possibly due to the delta variant of COVID-19.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently said that COVID-19 “is a very wily virus. If we keep lingering without getting those people vaccinated that should be vaccinated, this thing could linger on, leading to the development of another variant, which could complicate things.”