COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review
Interpretive Summary for March 17, 2023
Spring into Action
As we mark three years of the COVID-19 pandemic, cases, deaths, and hospitalizations have all been decreasing steadily. Much of the U.S. population has some form of immunity, either through vaccination or previous infection. In addition, CDC’s 2023 Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule now includes COVID-19 primary vaccine series and links to the latest guidance on booster dose vaccination in all populations.
Recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines for kids can be confusing. The pediatric vaccines and boosters were introduced by age group, and there are slightly different recommendations by manufacturer and for children who are immunocompromised. Children of different ages in the same family might not have the same COVID-19 vaccine schedules. The new guidance will make it easier to figure out if your kids are up to date or when they should get their next shot.
Regular checkups with a pediatrician provide the opportunity to prevent, screen for, and manage chronic conditions, and to get routine vaccinations for your kids, including COVID-19 vaccines. Your pediatrician can explain guidance and help make sure that your child is up to date with all vaccines. So put “make a pediatrician appointment” on top of your spring to-do list.
Note to Readers: COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review will publish its final issues on March 31, April 14, and May 12. Please visit CDC’s COVID Data Tracker for COVID-19 data, CDC’s Respiratory Virus Hospitalization Surveillance Network (RESP-NET) for data on respiratory virus-associated hospitalizations, and CDC’s National Emergency Department Visits for COVID-19, Influenza, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus dashboard for data on emergency department patient visits with diagnosed COVID-19, influenza, and RSV.
COVID-19 Community Levels*
As of March 16, 2023, there are 49 (1.5%) counties, districts, or territories with a high COVID-19 Community Level, 310 (9.6%) with a medium Community Level, and 2,861 (88.7%) with a low Community Level. Compared with last week, the number of counties, districts, or territories in the high level decreased by 0.4%, in the medium level decreased by 3.4%, and in the low level increased by 3.8%. Overall, 38 out of 52 jurisdictions** had high- or medium-level counties this week. Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, and South Carolina are the jurisdictions that have all counties at low Community Levels.
To check your COVID-19 Community Level, visit COVID Data Tracker. To learn which prevention measures are recommended based on your COVID-19 Community Level, visit COVID-19 Community Level and COVID-19 Prevention.
*CDC recommends use of COVID-19 Community Levels to determine the impact of COVID-19 on communities and to take action. CDC also provides Community Transmission Levels to describe the amount of COVID-19 spread within each county. Healthcare facilities use Community Transmission Levels to determine infection control interventions.
**Includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
U.S. COVID-19 Community Levels by County
As of March 15, 2023, the current 7-day average of weekly new cases (21,422) decreased 19.7% compared with the previous 7-day average (26,685). A total of 103,801,821 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the United States as of March 15, 2023.
Total Cases Reported
Current 7-Day Average*
Previous 7-Day Average
Change in 7-Day Average since Previous Period
*Historical cases are excluded from weekly new cases and 7-day average calculations until they are incorporated into the dataset for the applicable date. Of 56,201 historical cases reported retroactively, 347 were reported in the current week and none in the prior week.
Weekly Trends in COVID-19 Cases in the United States Reported to CDC
CDC Nowcast projections* for the week ending March 18, 2023, estimate the proportion of these lineages designated as Omicron with estimates above 1%: XBB.1.5, BQ.1.1, XBB, and XBB.1.5.1.
XBB.1.5 is projected to be at approximately 90.2% (95% PI 87.4-92.4%).
BQ.1.1, XBB, and XBB.1.5.1 are projected to be between 2.2% and 3.5% of circulating lineages.
XBB lineages are the only lineages growing nationally. All other virus lineages are predicted to have very slow or no growth in proportion.
See COVID Data Tracker for the proportions of all relevant lineages currently circulating.
*CDC uses Nowcast projections to predict current variant proportions circulating in the United States. The median time from specimen collection to sequence data reporting is about 3 weeks. As a result, weighted estimates for the most recent few weeks may be unstable or unavailable. View Nowcast estimates on CDC’s COVID Data Tracker website on the Variant Proportions page.
As of March 15, 2023, 673.0 million vaccine doses have been administered in the United States. Overall, about 230.2 million people, or 69.3% of the total U.S. population, have completed a primary series.* About 54.3 million people, or 16.2% of the U.S. population , have received an updated booster dose.
Vaccine Doses Administered
Updated Booster Doses Administered**
People who have completed a primary series* (69.3% of the U.S. population)
People who have received an updated booster (16.2% of the eligible U.S. population)
Percentage point change from last week
Percentage point change from last week
*Represents the number of people who have received the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series (such as the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Novavax vaccines) or one dose of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
**The number of updated booster doses administered is larger than the number of people who have received an updated booster because one person may receive more than one booster dose.
Daily Change in the Total Number of Administered COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Reported to CDC by the Date of Administration, United States
7-Day moving average
COVID-19 Updated Booster Dose Administration, United States
Total New Admissions
Current 7-Day Average
Prior 7-Day Average
Change in 7-Day Average
The start of consistent reporting of hospital admissions data was August 1, 2020.
Weekly Rates of COVID-19-Associated Hospitalizations Among Infants Ages 6 Months and Younger
New admissions are pulled from a 10 am EDT snapshot of the HHS Unified Hospital Data – Analytic Dataset. Due to potential reporting delays, data from the most recent 7 days, as noted in the figure above with the grey bar, should be interpreted with caution. Small shifts in historic data may also occur due to changes in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Provider of Services file, which is used to identify the cohort of included hospitals.
COVID-NET: Trends in COVID-19 Hospitalizations Among Infants 6 months and Younger
CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET) shows that for the week ending February 25, 2023, the rate of COVID-19-associated hospitalizations for infants ages 6 months and younger, who are not eligible for vaccination, is 12.4 per 100,000 population—the highest of all pediatric groups. These rates have, in general, remained relatively stable from January through early March.
Weekly Rates of COVID-19-Associated Hospitalizations Among Infants Ages 6 months and Younger
The dashed lines for the current season indicate potential reporting delays and interpretation of trends should exclude data from recent weeks. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET), a RESP-NET platform, is an additional source for hospitalization data collected through a network of more than 250 acute-care hospitals in 13 states (representing ~10% of the U.S. population). Detailed data on patient demographics, including race and ethnicity, underlying medical conditions, medical interventions, and clinical outcomes, are collected using a standardized case reporting form.
The current 7-day average of new deaths (244) decreased 18.8% compared with the previous 7-day average (300). As of March 15, 2023, a total of 1,121,512 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in the United States.
Total Deaths Reported
Current 7-Day Average*
Prior 7-Day Average
Change in 7-Day Average Since Prior Period
*Historical deaths are excluded from the weekly new deaths and 7-day average calculations until they are incorporated into the dataset by their applicable date. Of 4,113 historical deaths reported retroactively, none were reported in the current week and none were reported in the prior week.
Weekly Trends in Number of COVID-19 Deaths in the United States Reported to CDC
The percentage of COVID-19 NAATs (nucleic acid amplification tests)* that are positive is decreasing in comparison to the previous week. The 7-day average of percent positivity from NAATs is now 7.2%. The 7-day average number of tests reported for March 3–9, 2023, was 178,921, down 20.8% from 225,960 for the prior 7 days.
Total Tests Reported
7-Day Average Tests Reported
7-Day Average % Positivity
Previous 7-Day Average % Positivity
Percentage point change in 7-Day Average % Positivity since Prior Week
*Test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19
COVID-19 NAAT Laboratory Test 7-day Percent Positivity by State/Territory
COVID Data Tracker’s Wastewater Surveillance tab tracks levels, changes, and detections of SARS-CoV-2* viral RNA in wastewater at over 1,400 testing sites across the country.
Currently, about 53% of sites across the country are reporting moderate to high SARS-CoV-2 levels in wastewater. About 20% of sites reporting wastewater data are currently seeing some of the highest levels for those sites since December 1, 2021. About 51% of sites are experiencing a decrease in SARS-CoV-2 levels, and about 38% are reporting an increase.
For more information on how to use wastewater data, visit CDC’s wastewater surveillance website.
*The virus that causes COVID-19
SARS-CoV-2 Levels in Wastewater by Site
0% denotes that levels are the lowest they have been at the site; 100% denotes that levels are the highest they have been at the site.