FHA data indicates Florida is past Omicron peak; COVID-19 possibly classified as endemic in near future

by | Jan 19, 2022


 

A recently released COVID-19 hospital report for the state, published by the Florida Hospital Association, indicates that Florida has moved past the period of peak infections for the Omicron variant, citing decreased inpatient admissions to the state’s medical facilities.

The hospital report reflects 10,643 hospitalizations with confirmed cases of COVID-19 for Jan. 18th, down from 11,160 infected hospitalizations on Jan. 14th. This figure is comprised of 10,459 adult cases (down 287 admissions from Jan. 14th), and 184 pediatric patients (down 46 admissions from Jan. 14th). ICU availability is becoming more abundant across the state as well, with 16.4 percent of all beds open. 24.3 percent of ICU adult occupants are COVID-19 patients.

 

Most notably, the hospitalization curve has begun to descend, indicating that Florida, and at a much larger scale the nation, is nearing the end of rapid transmission of Omicron. Hospitalizations within Florida during the most recent and current wave of infections peaked on Jan.13th with 11,207 admissions into state medical centers. Given this most recent data, experts like Dr. Tom Unnasch believe Omicron could be on its way out.

“So every 16 days we’re going to have half as many cases as we did the 16 days previous,.so it’s starting to look like Florida, in terms of daily cases, is over the hump of the omicron variant wave that we’ve had, and we’re now starting to see a nice steep decline in case numbers,” Unnasch told Spectrum. “The pressures will start to come off the hospitals in another 10 days to two weeks, but then the death numbers will follow that for about two weeks. We’ll see the after-effects for quite a while.”

In the height of Omicron transmission, Florida saw a record 77,848 cases in a single day — Dec 30th — before case numbers began to fall again. As of Jan. 15th, the state saw 49,339 registered cases, according to CDC data, a nearly 23 percent decrease, showing that the curve for total cases has begun to flatten as well.

Florida has fared relatively well in terms of deaths, averaging 87 fatalities a week through the Omicron surge, as of Jan. 15th. Similarly populated states like New York and Texas held 155 and 101 deaths per week on average, respectively. The Floridian government’s pragmatic approach to the pandemic handlings has been attributed to the lower counts of cases and deaths, while also keeping economic functions in line.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to the President, alluded to the high possibility of Omicron marking the end of the pandemic classification of COVID-19 so long as a newer, more deadly variant doesn’t spring up in the coming months.

 

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