Medical workers take a patient to Maimonides Medical Center in the Brooklyn neighborhood of New York on September 14, 2020.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
Coronavirus hospital stays on the rise in most U.S. states as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, warns the world is not "on the way" to end the pandemic.
Coronavirus hospital stays, such as what is known as the positivity rate and deaths, are a key measure as they help scientists assess the severity of the pandemic.
According to a CNBC analysis of the data collected by the Covid Tracking Project, hospital admissions for Covid-19 increased 5% or more in 37 states on Sunday, an increase from 36 states a week earlier. Numbers are based on weekly averages to smooth out daily reporting.
Alaska, Iowa, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, and West Virginia achieved record average hospital stays, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project. The District of Columbia and Hawaii are the only two places where hospital admissions are falling, according to the data.
"The point here is that it's only mid-October and there's a long fall and winter," said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, Infectious Disease Specialist and Professor at the University of Toronto.
"We are clearly in the second wave in many parts of the northern hemisphere and we really need to have more control over this infection at the community level," he said. "We know exactly what it's like when the health systems are overloaded. We saw that in New York City. We saw that in Houston. We saw that in many other parts of the United States."
The increase in hospital stays is due to the fact that US cases have increased in the past few weeks after a late summer break. Over the past seven days, the country has reported an average of 56,000 new cases per day, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data, up more than 13% from a week earlier. That's still less than the roughly 70,000 new cases per day the US reported earlier this year, but higher than the roughly 30,000 per day cases in early September and growing.
U.S. health officials and infectious disease experts have repeatedly warned that the outbreak could get worse as temperatures cool and people go inside. The surge in hospital stays could be especially bad as flu season approaches, medical experts warn.
The former representative of the US Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday that the US is likely to continue to face even greater challenges from the pandemic as cases rise this fall with no generally available treatments or a vaccine.
"We'll make it. We're probably in the 7th inning of the acute phase of this pandemic, but the hardest part is probably ahead of us," Gottlieb said on CNBC's "Squawk Box".
Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, told CBS News chief correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook, in an interview broadcast on Sunday, that the world is not near the end of the pandemic.
"When you have a million deaths worldwide and over 30 million infections, you can't say that we are essentially on our way to getting out of it. Honestly, I don't know where we are. It's impossible to tell," said he after a copy of his remarks.
While the pandemic will remain a challenge, Fauci said the U.S. may not have to close.
The outbreak should be "really, really bad," he said. "First, the country is tired with limitations. So we want to take public health measures so as not to hinder the opening of the economy, but to be a safe gateway to the opening of the economy."
He continued, "Turn off the device and say," We're going to take public health action to get where we want to go safely. "
CNBC's Kevin Stankiewicz and Nate Rattner contributed to this report.