Has Houston reached the peak of Omicron? Research shows the virus could be leveling off

There are signs that cases could be leveling off

HOUSTON – Since July 2020, the city of Houston has been testing wastewater for signs of a coronavirus surge.

They’ve been able to detect it in human waste when the viral load in the community went up.

Right now, the dashboard indicates there is a lot of virus in our community, but last week the city said there are some samples with less virus than before. Typically, that can be a sign that cases are leveling off.

UT Health epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina said looking strictly at cases does not reflect what’s happening inside hospitals. Hospitalizations, she says, lag by about three to four weeks.

Currently, according to SETRAC, there are 3,018 people in the hospital with COVID. Plus, there are 170 children.

According to the Texas Medical Center hospital systems, last week, on average, they admitted 413 new covid-19 patients per day, down from almost 500 (497) per day the week before.

Many experts are hoping Omicron will disappear in a matter of months.

“There’s going to be more mutations coming. That’s how viruses evolve. I think the big question is on what the impact that next variant is going to have on our hospital systems. There’s quite a lot of hypotheses out there that because omicron is touching so many people, the level of immunity in our community is only increasing more and more,” Jetelina said.

The hope is with more immunity throughout the community, future waves won’t be as devastating.