The summer surge in COVID-19 spread could extend into fall.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said hospitalizations rose yet again last week by another 19%. Deaths from the virus also saw a large jump: 21% in one week.

The spread of the virus appears to be a problem just about everywhere. Only a few states – Alaska, New Hampshire and North Dakota – saw COVID-related hospital admissions drop last week.

The other 47 states saw hospitalizations remain stable or increase. More than half of states – 26 to be exact – experienced a “substantial increase” in people being admitted with COVID-19, the CDC said.

A “substantial” jump, shaded in dark orange on the CDC map below, occurs when new hospital admissions increase by more than 20% in a single week.

Twenty-six states had a 20% or larger increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations week over week, the CDC said on August 28, 2023. (Map: CDC)

The biggest spike was in South Dakota, where hospitalizations increased by more than 127% in a single week, according to CDC tracking.

Help is on the way in the form of a new booster shot targeting a recent strain of the omicron variant – but it’s not expected to be approved until the end of September.

In the meantime, things might get worse as students head back to classrooms and dorm rooms.

“Overall, I would expect cases and hospitalizations to increase – then decrease again before they rise in the late fall and early winter,” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease expert at UCSF, when asked about back-to-school season’s impact on COVID spread.

“This has been the pattern for the past three years and may be where COVID may settle to: a smaller swell in the summer and a larger increase in cases in the late fall and winter,” he said.

Over the next few weeks, the Food and Drug Administration and the CDC are expected to give more information on who can get the new booster shot and when.