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COVID-19 hospitalizations are up in Arizona and around the U.S.

COVID-19 hospital admissions increased nearly 17% nationwide during the week of Dec. 23, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hospitalization numbers are up in Arizona, too.

There were 502 people admitted to Arizona hospitals for COVID-19 during the week of Dec. 23. 

That’s much higher than weekly admissions the state reported during summer and fall. But it’s a small fraction of the hospitalizations the state saw during the last three years. It’s about a 40% decrease compared to the same point last winter.

Medical experts say getting an updated COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from severe outcomes of the virus. The CDC reports only about 18% of Arizona adults had gotten the updated shot as of mid-December.

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent. She has produced work for NPR, New England Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, PRI's The World, Washington Post, Reuters and more.She has a master’s degree in radio journalism from the USC Annenberg School of Journalism.She lives in central Phoenix with her husband, two daughters, and ill-behaved cat and dog. Her side-passions include photography, crosswords and hot sauce.