7 Things to Know About the COVID Summer Surge.

Is there a summer COVID surge? What to know about the uptick in cases

What to Know About the U.S. Summer Uptick in COVID-19 Cases

An increase in the number of COVID-19 cases from the past few weeks could be indicative of a slight summer COVID-19 wave in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hospital admissions, test positivity rates, and emergency department visits by people who have contracted the virus have all seen a national uptick since mid July, though numbers remain relatively low.

“U.S. COVID-19 rates are still near historic lows after 7 months of steady declines,” CDC spokesperson Kathleen Conley said in a statement to CBS News. “The U.S. has experienced increases in COVID-19 during the past three summers, so it’s not surprising to see an uptick.”

Experts note, however, that there is still insufficient evidence that this rise will lead to a bigger outbreak, though it is something to watch. More than 144,000,000 vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S., and some 56.4 million people have an updated booster dose.

Also see: Three Shots for Fall: What You Need to Know

What does the CDC data show?

CDC data shows that hospital admissions related to COVID-19 had risen by 10.3% from July 9 to July 15, amounting to an increase of more than 7,000 hospitalizations across the U.S. The percentage of people diagnosed with the virus after an emergency room visit also rose over the past few weeks from around 0.5% in mid-to-late June to 0.78% on July 24th.

Deaths due to COVID-19 remain around the same. Data from the last three weeks are still being updated, but the week of July 1 saw 494 COVID-related deaths, compared to the week of June 24 at 549.

But overall, charts tracking this information show that this summer’s current data is still on the lower end of the most recent surge, which happened this winter.

The week of December 31, 2022 and January 7, 2023 saw hospitalizations at more than 44,000. Similarly, hospital admissions from July 2022 remained around that same 40,000 marker. That is compared to the highest rate of hospital admissions seen on the week of January 15, 2022, when some 150,000 people were in the hospital due to COVID.

Also see: What to Know About the 'Eris' COVID Variant

Why is there an uptick in COVID cases and hospitalizations?

There has been an increase, and we attribute this to not only Eris or EG.5, the newest variant out there, but other omicron subvariants that are spreading around

The EG.5 subvariant, a close relative of the omicron XBB family, now accounts for the largest proportion of COVID-19 cases in the country, making it the dominant strain in the U.S., per the latest CDC data. While EG.5 is likely more transmissible compared to its predecessors, there's no evidence it causes more severe disease or different symptoms, TODAY.com previously reported.

According to CDC, the rise in cases could be driven by both the new strains that have a transmission advantage and waning immunity from prior infection or vaccination.

Why is this happening during the summer, when it isn't respiratory virus season and more people are outdoors?. Just looking at the behavior of COVID in the past, there have been summer increases in each of the past three years, and we're seeing that now.

While summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors, many people are also seeking refuge from hot temperatures in the air conditioning indoors, he adds. A rebound in summer travel may also play a role. There are still plenty of people getting together in close proximity for prolonged periods of time to provide opportunities for highly contagious variants to spread.

Also see: Flu Symptoms vs COVID-19 Symptoms

Is COVID on the rise again? Yes, but don't panic.

There is no need to panic, the experts emphasize, and unlike past summer surges, this recent uptick remains relatively low. It’s really important to reinforce that the absolute number is still much, much lower than in various different peaks throughout the last couple of years.

We’ve always had the expectation that there was going to be a seasonality to COVID, kind of similar to flu, that we’re going to see this ebb and flow. Vaccine manufacturers are currently working on an updated COVID-19 booster, which will likely become available in mid to late September once it gets approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The CDC has not yet released any firm guidance around booster doses for the fall. When the agency does make recommendations about who should get the booster this fall, the experts anticipate it will be for high-risk individuals — people over the age of 65, people with underlying heal conditions and the immunocompromised.

In the meantime, people should assess their own risk on an individual basis and take precautions to protect themselves, the experts emphasize. This includes staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, testing if you have symptoms, staying home when sick, avoiding contact with sick people, wearing a mask, especially in crowded indoor spaces, and social distancing.

Also see: Why You Should Go to the ER for Covid-19 Test

7 Things to Know About the COVID Summer Surge

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that a summer surge of COVID-19 is still going strong and hospitalizations on the rise. As a variety of new strains circulate, including EG.5, the dominant variant in the U.S. also known as Eris, it’s an opportune time to catch up on the latest expert advice for navigating the current outbreak.

  • The latest surge is relatively mild
  • COVID doesn’t have a season
  • Summer heat waves may fuel infections
  • Older COVID tests can detect current strains
  • If you have COVID, consider Paxlovid
  • Test positive? Isolate for five days, then mask for five days
  • Hold out for a fall booster

Remember, this blog provides general information and should not replace professional medical advice. If you’re unsure if your symptoms may be related to COVID-19, it’s always best to take safety measures. Stay home if you’re not feeling well to prevent the spread of infection and contact your health care provider if you’re experiencing concerning symptoms. For more information on COVID-19, visit or call our Nearest Emergency Room for the immediate medical help. We have board-certified physicians, nurses and staff to help you recover and give appropriate treatment and medical advice.

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