Health experts warn omicron surge may peak soon

Health experts weigh-in on how long they believe the surge will last

The Omicron peak is predicted to be later this month.

“Importantly, that is speaking of cases. Hospitalizations and deaths lag by about three to four weeks, and so, we should see those COVID indicators peak around mid-February,” said Katelyn Jetelina, Ph.D. infectious disease epidemiologist with UTHealth School of Public Health Dallas.

Jetelina said she’s gathering information from other countries, specifically Denmark and the UK because of similar weather patterns and demographics.

“Thankfully, it looks like the UK and Denmark may have peaked in cases the past couple of days. They are plateauing, meaning they’re not increasing or decreasing, which may mean, and is another sign, that the United States cases will peak in about two to three weeks,” she said.

Right now, across 25 counties in southeast Texas, there are 536 COVID ICU hospitalizations and 148 pediatric hospitalizations, according to SETRAC.

New details from the CDC say COVID is here to stay, and Jetelina said in order to prepare for future waves, we need to learn when how to protect the vulnerable. She does not limit that statement to people with chronic conditions, but the entire workforce.

“We need a whole lot more antigen test supply. We also have learned that these antivirals are coming down the pipeline and we really need to increase our production on that. We also need to learn that we need to ride these waves out. If transmission increases, all of our good masks go back on, and when it’s decreased, and there’s no high transmissibility and you’re fully vaccinated, maybe your mask can come off then,” Jetelina explained.