COVID hospitalizations increasing nationwide
According to the CDC, hospital admissions due to COVID-19 have been going up nationwide.
The CDC updates information online Friday evenings, using data from the previous Sunday-Saturday. The third week of November, hospitalizations due to COVID increased by 9.7% compared to the previous week.
At a state level, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan have all seen an increase in the past month.
In Minnesota, weekly new COVID-19 hospital admissions went from 216 to 389 in two weeks this November. This is an increase from 3.83 to 6.90 hospital admissions per 100 thousand people in the state’s population.
In Wisconsin, weekly new COVID-19 hospital admissions went from 316 to 473 in the same time frame. This is an increase from 5.43 to 8.12 hospital admissions per 100 thousand people in the state’s population.
In Michigan, weekly new COVID-19 hospital admissions went from 458 to 628. This is an increase from 4.59 to 6.29 hospital admissions per 100 thousand people in the state’s population.
Although there is a recent uptick, the total numbers are still lower than last year. Essentia’s East Market spans from International Falls to Brainerd east to Ashland and Hayward and south to Sandstone. Covering the majority of the Northland, the hospital system treated 2,234 patients with COVID-19 last year. So far in 2023, the number is at 855.
St. Luke’s Infectious Diseases Specialist Andrew Thompson believes there may be people who have COVID-19 and not know it.
“One concerning sign is when we look at the wastewater, which is a broad sampling of everyone who uses sewers. We’ve seen a really big increase in those numbers of the virus in the wastewater, especially in the Midwest. So usually cases of COVID follow an increase in wastewater numbers,” explained Thompson. “People haven’t gotten sick enough to go to their doctor or come to the emergency room. So I would expect further increase in the number of cases based on that.”
Dr. Thompson added that in St. Louis County, only 15% of eligible people have gotten their COVID-19 booster.
“A lot of people will still get sick if they’ve had a COVID vaccine, but it prevents them from getting more severely ill,” said Dr. Thompson. “I would maintain awareness, especially folks who might have immunocompromised conditions, folks who are older should be careful about being in large groups of people in confined spaces breathing the same air because COVID is out there and influenza is out there.”
St. Luke’s will be hosting a Holiday Flu and COVID-19 Clinic on Thursday, December 14 from 4:40-7pm at St. Luke’s Pediatric Associates. To schedule an appointment, call 218-249-7870.
Geared towards children, this festive event will include hot chocolate, festive decorations, and music to enjoy before/after your child’s vaccination appointment. Kids will also be able to pick out a small present after their immunization.
More information about vaccinations at St. Luke’s can be found at this link.
For Essentia patients, vaccines and boosters are also done by appointment. Patients can schedule vaccine appointments by calling their Essentia clinic or pharmacy or by using the MyChart patient portal.