California: Data Suggest Omicron Coronavirus Wave Has Peaked

California tattoo (Vivianna_love / Flickr / CC / Cropped))
Vivianna_love / Flickr / CC / Cropped)

Data from around the State of California suggest that the state’s omicron coronavirus wave has peaked, though the infection rate remains high, hospitalizations and deaths are at near-record levels, and the virus remains highly contagious.

The Los Angeles County public health information page shows that the seven-day average of the testing positivity rate has fallen below 20%, and appears to be on a downward trajectory after a peak in the first week of January, after the holidays.

The Los Angeles Times reported that transmission rates are falling across the state, a welcome sign amid the wave:

After weeks of an unprecedented spike in coronavirus cases that challenged hospitals, schools and other institutions, there are growing indications that the surge spawned by the Omicron variant is flattening and, in some parts of California, even beginning to wane.

Health officials in San Francisco said Thursday they believe they’ve passed the peak of the latest wave. And in Los Angeles County, there’s cautious optimism that the days of exponential growth may be in the rearview mirror.

But officials warn that hospitals will continue to face significant challenges in the coming days and weeks, and that Californians need to keep their guard up.

“We can now confidently say that we are on the beginning of a downward trajectory,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, San Francisco’s director of health. According to state data, San Francisco averaged nearly 2,700 cases a day from Jan. 3 to Jan. 9 but is now averaging about 2,000 cases a day.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Mayor London Breed indicated that the latest surge appeared to have “peaked”:

San Francisco city officials said Thursday that new figures show the worst of the surge in coronavirus infections peaked earlier this month, sending case rates on a promising downward trend that could mark a turning point in the pandemic.

San Francisco logged a seven-day average of 2,164 new cases per day on Jan. 9 — a record high for the city — but the average dropped to 1,705 by Jan. 12. While more people than ever tested positive for the virus at the peak, declining numbers indicate San Francisco is on track to follow patterns elsewhere in the U.S. and world where the highly infectious omicron variant swept through populations but then rapidly dropped.

“The light at the end of the tunnel is here,” Mayor London Breed said at a news conference in front of City Hall. “We may go through another tunnel again. But know there is hope and there is light.”

At the same time, on Thursday, L.A. County reported 102 new deaths from coronavirus, “the highest number of deaths reported in a single day since March 10th, 2021.” It stressed that hospitalizations and deaths are highest among black and “Latinx” patients.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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