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This Week in Illness, March 19

This Week in Illness aggregates insights from Kinsa's network of smart thermometers and major headlines from across the country to bring you up to speed. Get your insights at a glance.

March 19, 2021  ||  By Matt Albasi

COVID-19 cases and Kinsa’s illness indicators were flat this week, despite a few outliers. Some areas showed troubling signs, particularly Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Michigan saw a continued rise in case counts, but no state experienced more than 100 new daily cases per 100K people. 

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COVID-19 Cases Dropped, in Most Places

On the whole, the nation saw decreases in COVID-19 cases as well as hospitalizations and deaths. Kinsa’s illness signals, influenza-like illness (ILI) and long-duration fever (LDF) also declined. A look at the state level, however, revealed some disturbing trends. 

Michigan May Be in Trouble

Cases of COVID-19 in Michigan continued to rise along with our LDF indicator, which likely means this trend will continue. The COVID Tracking Project also noted an increase in hospitalizations while deaths continued to decline. New Jersey and Pennsylvania also saw increases in COVID-19 cases and slight upticks in Kinsa’s illness measures, but not at the same levels as Michigan.

COVID-19 Levels in Michigan as of March 19, 2021

Vaccinations Sped Up And Moderna Began Tests on Children

Vaccine rollout continued to accelerate. The CDC’s data showed the seven-day average as more than 2.2 million shots per day. That brought the percentage of the population fully vaccinated to 12.3% and those with at least one shot to 22.7%. Alaska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Hawaii and North Dakota have the largest percentage of their population fully vaccinated.

This week, Mississippi opened vaccines to anyone over 16, joining Alaska, which made a similar move last week. And Moderna began testing their vaccine on children between 6 months and 11 years old. 

New CDC Guidelines for Schools and Flu Levels Stay Low

The CDC issued new guidelines for school reopening. The new guidance most notably included reduced physical distancing for certain situations. They also removed the recommendation for physical barriers.

Finally, the flu season entered its final weeks with a whimper. In week 10, the CDC reported 28 (0.1%) positive flu samples out of 31.4k tests. Last year this week, 9,413 (21.5%) tests were positive of the 43,868 conducted.

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