New York City and some northeastern US states appear to be seeing a rapid decline in the number of Covid-19 cases in recent days, raising the possibility that Omicron’s wave has already reached its peak. peak in some parts of the United States.
In New York City, the seven-day rolling average of new cases was less than 28,000 per day on January 16, down from an average of more than 40,000 on January 9.
Similar patterns were seen across the state and in other nearby regions.
“The Covid forecast is getting better… the Covid clouds are parting,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement Sunday after releasing figures showing positivity rates in the state are falling sharply. . “Overall, the outlook, the outlook, for Covid is much brighter than it has been before.”
Some 400,000 tests were conducted in New York on Saturday, with a positivity rate of 12.9%. Just a week ago, in a similar number of tests, the positivity rate was nearly 20%. The state reported 51,264 new cases on Saturday, down from the previous week’s peak of more than 90,000, according to a New York Times database. The number of people hospitalized fell for the fourth day in a row.
Several other Northeastern states, including New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, may be headed in a similar way. downtrend direction.
But in certain areas, including the Bronx in New York City, staff at hospital facilities issued calls for help, saying they were struggling to treat a growing patient load.
“Patients are lying in the hallway on gurneys touching each other,” said Karen Lam, an emergency room nurse in the Bronx. President Joe Biden and Hochul said military and National Guard medical teams would be sent to help.
Over the weekend, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy warned that despite its rapid spread, Omicron had yet to peak in the US as a whole. Nationwide, the seven-day rolling average of new cases was still around 800,000 cases per day on January 16, as it had been for the previous two days.
Murthy warned that infections will continue to rise in much of the country and the “the next few weeks will be difficult”. Infection rates and hospitalization levels are expected to be much higher in unvaccinated populations.
“The challenge is that the whole country is not moving at the same pace,” Murthy told CNN’s State of the Union. “The Omicron wave started later in other parts of the country. We shouldn’t expect a national spike in the next few days.”
The Biden administration has been hit by accusations that it failed to anticipate the demand for testing after a national vaccine and revaccination or booster campaign showed clear signs of faltering. The administration has also faced criticism that it did not anticipate the demand for therapeutic antiviral treatments.
The CDC has also faced criticism. With little data available on Omicron, the agency has tried to move faster with recommendations, including reducing periods of isolation and removing a negative test result as a requirement for release from isolation.
But that was countered by employers requiring a negative test before infected Americans could return to work, putting a strain on testing capacity that authorities have struggled to meet.
Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC he told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published Monday that she was committed to communicating CDC policy more clearly. “I think what I haven’t conveyed is the uncertainty in a lot of these situations,” Walensky said. “We feel the need to take action before we have specific data from Omicron,” he added.
In a statement last week, the White House said it would buy $1 billion worth of tests to distribute for free. Half a billion would be available to order on January 19 and be mailed directly to order, with up to four free tests per residential address.
“This program will ensure that rapid at-home COVID-19 tests are available to Americans in the coming weeks and months, in addition to the myriad of other ways they can get tested,” the White House said.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism