CDC: COVID-19 Deaths Increased in All Four Weeks of July

By Susan Jones | August 17, 2020 | 10:47am EDT
EMTs sanitize a hospital gurney after dropping off a patient at a Brooklyn hospital. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)
EMTs sanitize a hospital gurney after dropping off a patient at a Brooklyn hospital. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - According to the latest death certificates submitted to the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, deaths involving COVID-19 increased in all four weeks that ended in July. (Data for August are still too preliminary to be reliable.)

For the week ending July 25, at least 6,357 people died from COVID, a 2.53 percent increase from the 6,200 deaths in the week ending July 18, but 62.64 percent below the peak of 17,020 COVID-involved deaths for the week ending April 18.

As shown in the chart below, the CDC's preliminary data shows that there were 3,672 deaths involving COVID-19 in the week that ended on June 27.  That was the tenth straight week in which COVID-19-involved deaths declined from the peak of 17,020 in the week that ended on April 18. But then the downward trend ended.

At least 4,254 people died of COVID in the week ending July 4; 5,232 in the week ending July 11; 6,200 in the week ending July 18; and now 6,357 in the week ending July 25.

 
 

CDC notes that its week-by-week COVID death count is incomplete because of the lag in time between when the death occurred and when the death certificate is completed, submitted to NCHS and processed for reporting purposes. It says the delay can range from 1 week to 8 weeks or more. Data for recent weeks is revised more significantly than death tolls for earlier weeks.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner under President Trump, told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday, "There's been a fairly persistent level of infection, hospitalizations and deaths over the last couple of weeks. We've had over a thousand deaths a day for at least two weeks now, over 50,000 infections a day on average."

Gottlieb said the number of hospitalizations has come down a little bit, but not rapidly.

"What's happening is, as the cases start to decline in the southern states -- Arizona, Texas, Florida -- we're starting to see infections pick up in other parts of the country. California is still increasing. Really the only state that seems to have come down quite a bit, of the epidemic Sunbelt states, is Arizona.

"And we now have 14 states with positivity rates above 10 percent. Mississippi at 21 percent, Nevada at 17 percent, Florida at 18 percent. So there's still a lot of states with pretty high positivity rates."

The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics puts the U.S. death toll from COVID at 153,727 people.

The ten states with the fewest deaths include Alaska (19); Hawaii (25); Wyoming (27); Vermont (59); Montana (60) West Virginia (127); North Dakota (130); Maine (141); South Dakota (163); and Idaho (239).

The ten jurisdictions with the most COVID-involved deaths are New York City, which gets a line of its own in CDC's table, with 20,589 deaths. New Jersey is second (14,039), followed by New York minus NYC (11,414); California (10,082); Texas (8,851); Massachusetts (7,885); Florida (7,698); Pennsylvania (7,568); Illinois (7,030); and Michigan (5,851).

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