NEW YORK (PIX11) – COVID-19 is slowly making a comeback as hospital admissions have increased in the United States, according to data from the CDC.  

New York City has also seen an uptick in hospital admissions, data from the Department of Health shows.  

A New York Department of Health chart shows the uptick in hospitalizations.

U.S. hospitalizations between July 28 and Aug. 26 increased by 16%, according to a CDC report released on Tuesday. New York City hospitalizations were up to 52 per day over the past week, health department data shows. Total hospitalizations for the last week of August were at 500. On Thursday, that number had jumped to 621, DOH data shows.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chart shows the rise in hospitalizations in the United States

Specialists at Johns Hopkins University, who have collected COVID-19 case data since 2020, say numbers are up but not like in previous years.

“It is ticking up a little bit, but it’s not something that we need to raise any alarm bells over,” said Dr. David Dowdy, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

It’s likely that infections are rising too, but the data is missing key elements as federal authorities ended the public health emergency in May. Since then, the CDC and many states no longer track the number of positive test results. 

Many states and municipalities mainly track hospital admissions.  

With newly updated COVID-19 vaccines expected to be released soon, the number of new hospital admissions could significantly slow down as the updated formula contains one version of the omicron strain, called XBB.1.5. 

It’s not exactly clear when people can start rolling up their sleeves for what officials hope is an annual fall COVID-19 shot. Pfizer, Moderna, and smaller manufacturer Novavax all are brewing doses of the XBB update but the FDA will have to sign off on each, and the CDC must then issue recommendations for their use. 

 “This is going to be our first fall and winter season coming out of the public health emergency, and I think we are all recognizing that we are living with COVID, flu, and RSV,” Dr. Mandy Cohen, the new CDC director, said. “But the good news is we have more tools than ever before.” 

This story comprises reporting from The Associated Press