Nearly 99% of the COVID-19 deaths reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week were not primarily caused by the coronavirus, new data shows.
According to the CDC’s COVID-19 dashboard, just 1.7% of the 324 COVID-19 deaths logged in the week ending Aug. 19 had the virus listed as the primary cause of death.
The data changes a bit for New York, where 2.1% of COVID-19 deaths had the virus as the main cause.
Florida and Maryland have the highest COVID-19 death rates at 3.4%, followed by Washington with 2.4%, while Tennessee and North Carolina each reported 2% — behind New York, but above the national average.
This is a staggering difference from the peak of the pandemic in 2021, when 30% of COVID-19-related deaths had the virus cited as the main cause.
The number of weekly COVID-19 related deaths have dropped drastically since the peak of the pandemic. CDC
The primary cause of death is defined as the condition, injury, disease, situation or event that initiated the chain of events resulting in a person’s death.
The CDC has not reported the primary cause of death in cases where COVID-19 was the secondary factor, but data from the agency shows cancer and heart disease continue to be the leading causes of death nationwide.
Weekly COVID-19 deaths are at their lowest numbers since March 2020, according to CDC data.
But coronavirus cases recently jumped nationwide — with New York reporting a 55% increase at the beginning of August.
The spike came as a new variant — dubbed EG.5, or eris — emerged as the dominant strain, causing about 17% of COVID cases nationwide.
Florida and Maryland have the highest COVID-19 death rates at 3.4% — double the national average. CDC
As new variants continue to arise, health experts are concerned that we’re not prepared — especially for a worst-case scenario.
NYC health commissioner Ashwin Vasan and other public health experts are encouraging people to get the updated booster shot when it becomes available.