Omicron surge seems to have peaked in Houston, but it’s not to be celebrated, doctors say

We’ve reached the Omicron peak in the Houston area. The hope is we will move past it soon.

However, we can’t get ahead of ourselves and celebrate for two reasons: There are still a lot of people infected with the virus. The number of children hospitalized has not gone down yet.

“Right now, with respect to hospitalizations, we’re still at peak,” said Dr. Jim Versalovic, COVID-19 Command Center co-leader at Texas Children’s Hospital. “The reality is, we know the children under five are wholly unvaccinated, and that we have an extremely contagious variant that is still rapidly spreading throughout our region.”

According to the city of Houston Health Authority, Dr. David Persse, omicron in the adult population is going down. The proof is in the wastewater. There’s less of the virus being detected in waste. Therefore, we are hitting the peak of the omicron surge earlier than predicted.

That’s certainly moving in the right direction, but with a lot of people still in the hospital or sick with symptoms at home, experts stop short of saying the surge will go down as fast as it went up.

According to SETRAC, there are 3,122 people in the hospital across 25 southeast Texas counties. Officials said 547 of the patients are in the ICU, and 141 pediatric patients are also hospitalized.

“We anticipate that we will be vaccinating many more young adolescents and boosting more adolescents in the days and weeks ahead,” said Dr. Versalovic.

Those with a booster shot are 90% less likely to need hospitalization, according to a new CDC report. Dr. Persse confirms that’s accurate for patients across our hospital systems as well.