HEALTH

Could Utah’s Omicron peak happen soon? Doctors say it’s possible

Jan 10, 2022, 7:42 PM | Updated: Jan 11, 2022, 7:57 am
(Javanni Alzayyat administers a COVID-19 test at the Cannon Health Building in Salt Lake City on De...
(Javanni Alzayyat administers a COVID-19 test at the Cannon Health Building in Salt Lake City on December 15, 2021. Photo: Laura Seitz, Deseret News)
(Javanni Alzayyat administers a COVID-19 test at the Cannon Health Building in Salt Lake City on December 15, 2021. Photo: Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — When will the Omicron variant peak start to happen in Utah?  Doctors believe it may happen soon, however, even if cases start to drop, they say people still need booster shots.

Utah Department of Health officials report 24,147 new cases of COVID-19 from this weekend, as well as 20 new deaths.  This brings the state’s rolling seven-day average to 7,768 new cases every day. And the average positive rate among people being tested has jumped to over 31 percent.

Dr. Todd Vento with Intermountain Healthcare said, “We had a 9,500-ish cases last week, which is really 2.5 times the highest we had ever seen in the last two years.”

Vento says roughly 95 of Utahns currently infected with COVID-19 have the Omicron variant.  Even if the virus is less severe than the Delta variant, Vento says the large number of infections have pushed ICUs to beyond capacity.  He also says all the data shows people who have received their vaccine booster shots are faring much better than those who have not.

“There is 90 percent protection from hospitalization at three months vs. 50 percent if you’ve only had two doses of the vaccine,” Vento said.

Reaching the Omicron peak?

So, if cases are still rising, how can health officials estimate when Utah will reach the Omicron peak?  Vento says they’ve been tracking the trends in countries with similar vaccination rates that have already hit their peak number of cases.

“If you use this data, you’ll see, already, that they’re starting to show that they’re coming down from their Omicron peak.  Actually, if you look at New York and Washington D.C., you see the same thing, as well,” he said.

Given that data, Vento says it’s possible Utah could hit the height of the Omicron surge in either late January, or early February.  However, that prediction isn’t set in stone.

He said, “Some of that will depend on what is the existing immunity in the community, whether that’s from natural immunization or vaccination.”

Read more:

Today’s Top Stories

Health

Polio US 2022...
The Associated Press

Polio detected in NYC’s sewage, suggesting virus circulating

State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett says the detection of poliovirus in wastewater samples in New York City is alarming but not surprising.
1 day ago
Intermountain Healthcare...
Mark Jones

CEO and President of Intermountain Healthcare announces resignation

Intermountain Healthcare will soon be looking for a new CEO and President. Current, CEO and President Dr. Marc Harrison announced Thursday he will resign from the position later this year.
2 days ago
St. Mark's Hospital in Salt Lake City. According to the Utah Hospital Association, staffing at hosp...
Martha Harris

Staffing at Utah hospitals is in a more stable place than a year ago

Staffing at Utah hospitals are at a more stable position than they were last year, according to the Utah Hospital Association. However, they still aren't at pre-pandemic levels.
4 days ago
Utah ranks one of the top ten states to have a baby, new study finds....
Waverly Golden

Study places Utah among top ten states to have a baby

According to a new study, Utah is among the top states to have a baby and has one of the lowest c-sections hospital costs.
4 days ago
President Joe Biden speaks about Ukraine in the East Room of the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 202...
Donald Judd, CNN

President Joe Biden officially cleared to emerge from isolation following rebound Covid-19 case

 President Joe Biden was officially cleared to emerge from isolation Sunday after a second negative Covid-19 test, his physician announced.
6 days ago
Curt Gresseth

Subaru Outback outscores other midsize cars in new side-crash test

The 2022 Subaru Outback outscored six other midsize sedans in an updated side-crash test, which more accurately reflects real-world conditions than the previous test.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Could Utah’s Omicron peak happen soon? Doctors say it’s possible