​Quarterly Scientific Recap on COVID-19

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on September 29, 2022 # COVID-19, News

The effects of COVID-19 continue to influence the world. The combination of new variants, relaxed social isolation regulations, and response to vaccinations remains. In response to the ever-changing virus and the global response the World Health Organization (WHO) continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. In the United States the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also monitors COVID-19 across the world. Both agencies are actively engaging people by maintaining a comprehensive database of the virus, variants, vaccines, and cases. The websites are updated daily to reflect the most recent trends.

Tracking COVID-19

The CDC provides comprehensive COVID-19 information on their COVID Data Tracker that is accessed by medical professionals and the public. The data is reported by states and other jurisdictions including territories. The data found on the COVID Data Tracker is reliant on the accuracy and timeliness of reports by the states and territories.

Another source of information regarding how COVID-19 is affecting the population is the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS). Provisional death certificates from the NVSS can help track the COVID-19 mortality rate. The death certificates provide comprehensive information. However, because recording the information from death certificates takes more time, the numbers are less than the death rate on the CDC’s website.

In response to the coronavirus, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) provides vital information about death rates, place of death, and other crucial information.


COVID ChartThe approach of summer left the scientific community wondering if the nation would experience an uptick in COVID-19 cases. In the beginning of the summer, there was a slight increase in cases reported.1 Yet, as the summer continued state and local health agencies reported a decrease in cases and mortality.1

The rate of daily and new cases has declined as the summer progresses. Notably, the daily and new cases rates of COVID-19 have declined in August (see chart).

Based on data from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention2

Hot Spots

Death rates caused by COVID-19 are lower in the Northeast and West Coast.2 Similarly, the Northeast and the West Coast also have lower reporting of cases of COVID-19.2

Reports and trends tracked on the CDC’s and NHCS’s COVID Tracker pages show COVID-19 remains a cause for death especially for the unvaccinated and those over the age of 65. Furthermore, despite the numbers comparing deaths from COVID-19 and vaccination status, being vaccinated does provide greater protection.

To understand why the numbers give a false impression, the CDC looked at incidence rates instead of absolute numbers. When experts at the CDC compared ratios of death rates in vaccinated versus unvaccinated people, those who were unvaccinated had a higher death rate than those vaccinated with their primary series and a booster. 2


Variants are constantly changing. Whether the change happens as the virus moves from one host to another or another reason these changes are expected. As a result, there are several variants of the COVID-19 virus.

COVID-19 vaccines are not a guarantee that people won’t contract the coronavirus. There are a few factors that must be taken into consideration. The emergence of new variants is one of the factors. The Omicron variant is highly contagious. Another reason those who are vaccinated can become infected with the coronavirus is the nature of the vaccine. While vaccines and subsequent booster shots can decrease the effects of this variant, it is important to understand they were created to prevent the severe effects of the virus.


The CDC has declared the Omicron variant a variant of concern. The lineages of the Omicron variant are BA.2, BA.4, and BA.5. The concern over the Omicron variant centers around its ease of transmission. Omicron spreads easier from person to person than its predecessor, the Delta variant. Yet, despite being more contagious, its symptoms are less severe, and it has a lower death rate. 3


Vaccines remain the leading treatment to prevent or decrease the effects of COVID-19. People who are vaccinated may still have the virus, but they are less likely to have severe illness, be hospitalized, or die from a COVID-19 infection.

Antiviral treatments (monoclonal antibody treatments) remain effective against COVID-19, specifically Omicron. Local and state public health agencies continue to work with medical professionals to ensure patients receive effective treatment.


As the season changes, the CDC is continuing to keep track of the number of COVID-19 cases (new and daily), mortality and hospitalization rates. The CDC’s researchers maintain their genomic surveillance so they can track and identify new COVID-19 variants and scientists use the information to protect the public’s health.

Children are returning to school and schedules are changing. While medical and research professionals don’t know if there will be an uptick in cases, they continue to advise people to either get a COVID-19 vaccination or a booster shot. A surge in any variant of COVID-19 can have a negative impact on the healthcare system.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022. “COVID—19 Mortality Overview.” Last modified August 24. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/covid19/mortality-overview.htm.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022. “COVID Data Tracker.” Last modified August 30. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#demographicsovertime.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022. “COVID-19.” Last modified August 11, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fvariants%2Fabout-variants.html.

Christina Sisti, DPS, MPH, MS is a bioethicist and health care policy advocate. She works to create awareness and improve health care policy for those with long-term health issues.

This publication was supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $160,000 with 100% funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, ACL/HHS or the U.S. government.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.