Numerous areas, including two western states in particular, have seen a recent surge in COVID-19 cases among the elderly. California’s skilled nursing facilities have perhaps seen it the worst: a quintupling in November alone.
Nationally, people 65 and up account for nearly 90% of COVID-19 deaths to date, according to a Washington Post analysis of CDC statistics.
California’s seven-day average of 61 cases for the week of Nov. 1 soared to 311 cases for the week of Nov. 29, according to state data.
Compare that number to the state’s winter 2021 Omicron surge, which peaked at about 620 daily cases in skilled nursing homes. The winter surge of 2020 maxed out at about 730 per day, according to figures cited in the Sacramento Bee.
Meanwhile, in Colorado at least 124 COVID outbreaks occurred in residential healthcare centers in November. That accounted for 92% of all November outbreaks recorded by Colorado health officials.
The surges coincide with new subvariants of omicron taking over BA.5 as the leading variant spreading across the nation. Variants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 together nationwide as of late November caused 57% of cases nationwide, according to an update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the end of November. That was up from 48% the preceding week and 38% two weeks earlier.