A Better Data Picture
Interpretive Summary for January 20, 2023
A Better Data Picture
For the past two years, COVID-19 has dominated respiratory disease activity in the United States, with other respiratory viruses circulating at lower levels than usual. But that trend has changed this year—flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) have been on the rise, especially among children. The combination of flu, RSV, and COVID-19 has strained healthcare systems this fall and winter. Therefore, it is important to continue to track COVID-19 on its own, but also in the context of these other respiratory illnesses and hospital use overall.
CDC recently released three new tools that allow people to see hospitalization and emergency department data and compare trends across seasons and by respiratory disease type.
- COVID Data Tracker’s Hospital Capacity and Utilization page is a centralized location for hospital-related data that is updated daily. It tracks overall inpatient bed occupancy, COVID-19 inpatient bed occupancy, overall ICU bed occupancy, and COVID-19 ICU bed occupancy, by state and hospital bed type (adult and pediatric).
- The Respiratory Virus Hospitalization Surveillance Network (RESP-NET) interactive dashboard displays data on respiratory virus-associated hospitalizations. It’s updated weekly to help public health professionals visualize trends in virus circulation, estimate disease burden, and respond to outbreaks.
- The National Emergency Department Visits for COVID-19, Influenza, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus dashboard, which is updated weekly, displays data on emergency department patient visits with diagnosed COVID-19, influenza, or RSV. By tracking patients in emergency departments with these respiratory virus infections, public health professionals can detect unusual levels of certain respiratory illnesses, which can serve as an early warning system for troubling increases or outbreaks.
Tracking hospitalizations and emergency department visits overall and associated with respiratory viruses can help public health officials detect, understand, and monitor health events and strain on our healthcare system. It can also help people make decisions such as choosing to mask in public to protect themselves and others from respiratory illness, including COVID-19.
- A new Hospital Bed Capacity page was added to COVID Data Tracker. This page displays data on overall inpatient bed occupancy, COVID-19 inpatient bed occupancy, overall ICU bed occupancy, and COVID-19 ICU bed occupancy, by state and age group.
- COVID Data Tracker’s COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States page now includes updated booster dose data for children ages 6 months to 5 years.
- Racial and Ethnic Differences in COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage Among Children and Adolescents Aged 5–17 Years and Parental Intent to Vaccinate Their Children — National Immunization Survey–Child COVID Module, United States, December 2020–September 2022
COVID-19 Community Levels*
As of January 19, 2023, there are 196 (6.1%) counties, districts, or territories with a high COVID-19 Community Level, 1,010 (31.4%) with a medium Community Level, and 2,011 (62.5%) with a low Community Level. Compared with last week, the number of counties, districts, or territories in the high level decreased by 7.5%, in the medium level decreased by 6.9%, and in the low level increased by 14.4%. Overall, 48 out of 52 jurisdictions had high- or medium-level counties this week. Arizona, Washington, Nevada, and Utah are the only jurisdictions to 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 January 18, 2023, the current 7-day average of weekly new cases (47,459) decreased 23.9% compared with the previous 7-day average (62,397). A total of 101,873,730 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the United States as of January 18, 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 21,397 historical cases reported retroactively, none 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 January 21, 2023, estimate the proportion of lineages designated as Omicron with estimates above 1%: BA.5—and three of its sublineages (BQ.1, BQ.1.1, and BF.7)—and BA.2 sublineages BA.2.75, BN.1, XBB, and XBB.1.5.
The most prevalent Omicron lineages this week are XBB.1.5, projected to be 49.1% (95% PI 37.5-60.8%), and BQ.1.1, projected to be 26.9% (95% PI 20.9-33.9%). BQ.1, XBB, BA.5, BN.1, BF.7, and BA.2.75 are all projected to be between 1% and 15% of circulating viruses.
XBB.1.5 is growing in proportion in all HHS regions. 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 January 18, 2023, 667.8 million vaccine doses have been administered in the United States. Overall, about 229.5 million people, or 69.1% of the total U.S. population, have completed a primary series.* More than 41 million people, or 19.6% of the eligible U.S. population ages 5 years and older, have received an updated (bivalent) booster dose.
Vaccine Doses Administered
Updated (Bivalent) Booster Doses Administered
People who have completed a primary series* (69.1% of the U.S. population)
People who have received an updated (bivalent) booster (19.6% 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.
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 (Bivalent) 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.
Daily Trends in Number of New COVID-19 Hospital Admissions in the United States
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.
CDC’s Respiratory Virus Hospitalization Surveillance Network (RESP-NET) comprises three networks that conduct population-based surveillance for laboratory-confirmed hospitalizations associated with COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and influenza among children and adults. The rates presented on the RESP-NET interactive dashboard can be used to follow trends and comparisons of COVID-19, RSV, and influenza-associated hospitalization rates in different demographic groups, including by age, sex, race and ethnicity, and across seasons.
RESP-NET shows that COVID-19-associated hospitalizations among adults 65 years and older are likely increasing, with a rate of 44.3 per 100,000 population for the week ending December 31, 2022.
Weekly Rates of Respiratory Virus-Associated Hospitalizations among Adults Ages 65 Years and Older
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 (565) decreased 6.1% compared with the previous 7-day average (601). As of January 18, 2023, a total of 1,099,866 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 3,838 historical deaths reported retroactively, none were reported in the current week and 86 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 12.3%. The 7-day average number of tests reported for January 6–12, 2023, was 306,307, down 11.6% from 346,677 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 980 testing sites across the country.
Currently, about 46% of sites across the country are reporting moderate to high SARS-CoV-2 levels in wastewater. About 48% of sites reporting wastewater data are currently seeing some of the highest levels for those sites since December 1, 2021. About 61% of sites are experiencing a decrease in SARS-CoV-2 levels, and about 28% 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.