Data Shows COVID-19 Hospitalizations And ICU Usage Since 2020

As of August 22, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that there have been a total of 93,393,407 reported cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. since the start of 2020. Throughout the pandemic, hospitalization numbers, as well as numbers of patients in ICU care, have varied. Vaccine rollouts and the emergence of new variants are among such factors having influenced these numbers. Here's how the data has changed over the past few years.

Early data from July 15, 2020, shows the number of COVID-related hospitalizations in the U.S. stood at 33,760. Case numbers continued to climb, with an additional 4,778 people hospitalized the following day. By the end of the month, 46,150 people had been hospitalized for COVID-19. Numbers were at their highest for the year by December 13, 2020, with a recorded 107,402 hospitalizations. Not long after, hospitalization numbers peaked at 133,263 on January 14, 2021 — the highest they were for that year. Currently, as of August 8, hospitalization numbers were also at their highest in January for the year 2022. At the height of the Omicron surge, the U.S. had a total of 154,513 hospitalizations on January 19, 2022. Conversely, hospitalization numbers were at their lowest on April 10, 2022, at 9,867 — the lowest they've been since mid-2020.

COVID-19 data predictions for winter 2022

Across the country, a total of 9,245 patients were under ICU care for COVID-19 infection on July 15, 2020. ICU admissions were at their lowest for 2020 on September 26 at 7,796 patients. Three months later, numbers were at their highest, with 25,074 ICU patients reported on December 13, 2020.

The following year, the greatest number of patients in ICU care climbed to 28,891 on January 12, 2021. In comparison, cases dropped to their lowest by summertime on June 27, 2021, with 3,525 ICU patients. 

So far, in 2022, ICU patient numbers peaked at their highest at 26,458 patients on January 19. The lowest case numbers were seen this past spring, with 1,432 persons in ICU care on April 17, 2022.

Recent data shows that as of August 8, 2022, there were 4,521 patients currently in ICU care and 38,195 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in the United States. While these numbers are lower in comparison to previous years, experts warn that we may likely see another increase in COVID-19 case numbers come wintertime. Chris Murray, head of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), told Reuters that we could potentially see as many as 1 million cases of infection daily this cold season across the U.S. However, due to the availability of vaccines, boosters, COVID-19 treatments, as well as rates of prior infection, experts anticipate that we will not see as dramatic a surge in hospitalization numbers as witnessed in previous years.