Hospitalizations are finally down

Among the encouraging news is that California is one of the states in the “falling” category. On January 7, the state peaked at 22,851 hospitalizations. Today it’s at 18,309, a 20 percent decrease in a little less than three weeks—although intensive-care units in Southern California and the San Fernando Valley remain full. California is large enough that changes there translate into changes in national numbers: That decline of 4,542 patients represents 19 percent of the nationwide decline in that period.

Hospitalizations across the Northeast, though declining, have dropped just 11 percent in the past two weeks, the smallest decrease in any region. This indicates a point of concern: New York. It’s one of eight states with a hospitalization rate over 400 per million, and unlike the others, its recent hospitalization trajectory doesn’t yet suggest a peak.