As residents grapple with concerns over COVID-19, state health officials are reporting two deaths associated with the seasonal flu.
In the state flu report for March 8 to March 14, the state Department of Public Health officials said there were two deaths from the illness, which brings the annual total to 70.
In addition the reported deaths, the report also said flu activity appears to be increasing across the state, instead of declining.
During the week, the report of influenza-like illness was 7.09 percent, higher than the 6.24 percent observed last week.
As a result, hospital emergency room visits are also on the rise, with a 13.56 percent higher rate than reported at this time last year.
Officials said concerns about COVID-19 is most likely playing into the increase of ER visits.
The number of hospitalizations has also increased with a total of 2,816 influenza-associated hospitalizations reported since the beginning of the 2019-20 season.
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