As California continues to see a worrying spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, there are some early signs unprecedented Omicron wave is slowing down.
The shift is uneven across the state, but the numbers suggest California could be peaking in the recent surge. East Coast states hit earlier by the Omicron wave are already seeing continued declines in infections.
California has more than recorded 7 million coronavirus cases starting this week. The tally, which was recorded in the state’s databases late Monday, comes a week after it was recorded 6-millionster Coronavirus-Fall.
The numbers show:
Falls are still high but leveling off
The exponential growth in California’s case rate appears to be flattening out, although it will likely take a few days — following any backlog from Martin Luther King Jr.’s holiday weekend — to be sure.
According to data released Tuesday, which reflects numbers through Monday, California has had an average of 104,000 cases per day for the past seven days, slightly above the previous week’s rate of 101,000; The week before, the state was reporting 55,000 cases per day. California’s case rate peaked at more than 115,000 cases per day in the middle of last week and has fluctuated between 114,000 and 115,000 for a few days.
Convergence in case counts may be observed in some of the state’s most populous regions. Southern California recorded 69,000 new cases per day for the past seven days, which was about the same as compared to the 71,000 a week earlier. The week before, the region was counting 39,000 cases per day.
Los Angeles County saw a record number of coronavirus cases last week, nearly 42,000 a day. But based on figures released since then, the county is now averaging about 38,000 cases per day.
Officials said figures released on Tuesday may be lower than expected due to delays in reporting the bank holiday weekend. A clearer picture may emerge later this week.
The Bay Area is now averaging about 19,000 coronavirus cases per day, a rate that has fluctuated roughly between 18,000 and 22,000 over the past week. The Greater Sacramento area has seen about 5,500 cases a day for the past week. The capital region recently fluctuated between 5,000 and 6,000 cases.
In Santa Clara County, sewage coronavirus levels began falling about 1 1/2 weeks ago. Officials expect the drop will predict a continued drop in coronavirus cases.
Cases are still rising in the Greater San Joaquin Valley, a region that has generally lagged behind trends in Southern California and the Bay Area. The area has seen 9,300 cases a day for the past week, up from the 6,500 cases a day the previous week; The week before, the region recorded 2,900 daily cases.
Rural Northern California
Rural northern California has reported about 750 cases a day for the past week, up from about 680 the week before, and more than double the about 300 cases a day the sparsely populated region reported two weeks ago.
Positive COVID-19 test rate falls
The rate at which California’s coronavirus tests are positive has also decreased. In the seven days ended Jan. 10, California hit a record 23.1% positive test rate. Since then, the rate has fallen to 21.5% for the seven-day period ending Saturday. The rate is still very high; For comparison: at the beginning of December it was around 2%.
A similar trend continues for Los Angeles County. LA County’s seven-day positive test rate may have peaked at 22.7% for the seven-day period ended Jan. 3; for the week period ended Tuesday, the positivity rate was 16.3%. In the first week of December it was around 1%.
There are also signs that coronavirus-positive hospital admissions, while not yet declining, are increasing at a slower pace than when the surge began.
As of Tuesday, 15,179 such patients were hospitalized nationwide, show status data.
From December 28 to January 4, that census surged 69%. The following week it rose by 53%.
However, growth from Jan. 11 through Tuesday was far more modest: about 23%.
Even so, the latest number is the highest since Jan. 29, 2021 – and places a significant strain on the state’s healthcare system.
The model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation assumes that the daily number of infected Californians is high peak last week. The model suggests that new infections could be 15% of this week’s level by mid-February, about the same as mid-December.
Even if the infection trend reverses, it will still be weeks before the full fury of the Omicron wave unfurls. Throughout the pandemic, officials have noted that a spike in cases will invariably translate to a corresponding spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths a few weeks later. For example, the institute estimates that the number of hospitalized coronavirus-positive patients will peak at the end of January.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.