Omicron – Local View

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Because of the federal holiday yesterday, the CDC site may take a little longer to update. Data from my site updated yesterday and there is some good news in the numbers.

It is still a little early to celebrate but there are clear signs of a peak in one of the regions of the state where Omicron first took off. In my area, things also may have hit a peak but I’m going to want to see additional data to know for sure.

Statewide, week over week hospitalizations dropped for the first time since Christmas. All of this is early but the trends are finally starting to point in the right direction.

Statewide, we reported 12020 new cases on December 29th which was a new high. We topped that with 12960 on January 4th and then 15277 on January 5th and 15726 on January 7th and, finally, 16563 on January 12th. When you stop setting new highs it is a good signal but I only have data out to the 16th so I do want to see what happens later this week.

But the 9870 new cases reported on the 16th was the lowest since January 3rd.

In my area, we had three consecutive days in early January with over 5000 cases but haven’t gone above the 5441 reported on January 5th. Last week, we topped out at 4825 on the 12th. There were 3064 reported on the 16th which is the lowest since January 3rd. Again, I want to see a few more days before calling this a peak but it is certainly trending that way.

Since I have data on hospitalizations for my state, I did the graph below. It shows total hospitalized on a given day as well the seven day total number of cases. I used the seven day total to smooth out the day to day fluctuations.

I started this in November of 2020 right at the peak of that fall wave. You can see the Delta wave that got me back in September. Then, we had a second Delta wave starting in October until Omicron took over in December where you get the almost vertical line. While hospitalizations did pass the fall of 2020, what is also interesting to note is the gap between the lines narrowed. If I tried to do some kind of normalization to cases, it would be clear the percentage of people hospitalized is down.

You can also look at the increase in the two Delta waves. On July 21st, there were 551 people hospitalized and that increased to a peak of 2687 on September 13th. About a five fold increase in a little less than two months. We got back to a low of 1209 on November 6th and then the second Delta wave took off and we hit a peak of 3058 on December 14th. More than double in less than a month. There was another low of 2920 on Christmas which increased to 3519 on what may be the peak on January 13th.

In other words, even with Omicron cases taking off, we have not seen the same rate of increase in hospitalizations that we saw with the two previous Delta waves. Just another data point strongly suggesting that Omicron isn’t anywhere as severe as previous variants.

I’ll just close with a graph specific to District 1 which is in the Northwest corner of the state near a very, very large city in a neighboring state. The drop in cases is much more pronounced here and clearly we’ve hit a peak. Hospitalizations have also started to come down. This district started to see Omicron before Christmas and if it has peaked, we will see this play out in the remaining districts over time.

The overall numbers remain high but the trends suggest good news ahead. I suspect I’ll have a similar story for other states when I get that data.

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