COVID-19 case counts reached record highs again Friday as the omicron variant continues to surge across the state, according to state Department of Health Services data. The one-day case count increased to a record high of 12,293 cases, while the seven-day average increased to 7,637 cases — more than double the amount of cases just a month ago.And combined with previous cases that were already being treated, it means that we are also seeing record numbers of COVID-related hospitalizations.
According to Wisconsin Hospital Association data, 2,109 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 — the highest number of people admitted since November 2020.In looking at where cases are, the big change under the now-dominant Omnicron variant has been that highly-vaccinated, urbanized areas seem to be getting more cases than the rural, less-vaccinated areas that wrre seeing higher numbers of cases under Delta.
Watching national data— Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH (@ashishkjha) January 8, 2022
And being in the hospital this week
I see two things that appear contradictory
But both are true
1. Link between cases & hospitalizations is much weaker with Omicron than in the past
2. Our healthcare system is in trouble
Thread: the moment we are in
Haven't seen a single boosted person admitted for COVID— Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH (@ashishkjha) January 8, 2022
And in the national data
Risk of hospitalizations is still those two groups
High risk not boosted
And that pool of people is still very, very large
And that is driving the surge of hospitalizations
Yes, Omnicron isn't as likely to leave to severe illness for individuals as Delta did, especially if someone is vaxxed/boosted. Which means that people in less-vulnerable demographics are going to end up relatively OK (although you still wouldn't want to get it). But given the large number of people that are getting infected, it'll still overload hospitals and might well shut more businesses/schools due to a lack of staff. And those disparities in outcomes will likely become obvious in the next few weeks. Not great, folks. Not great. I've been limiting my exposure more in 2022 than I was in the last 2 months of 2021, and while I won't go into 2020-style shutdown mode, I'm definitely going to be more aware of my surroundings in coming weeks, even in heavily vaxxed/masked Madison.
So we have two things happening— Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH (@ashishkjha) January 8, 2022
Many "very low risk of bad outcomes" people are getting infected
The young/vaccinated/maybe boosted or older but boosted
Those cases are not turning into severe illness
That's the uncoupling of cases and hospitalizations
Excellent analysis. As a retired teacher, I have quit substitute teaching during this surge, but feel a lot of empathy for the teachers left in the classroom. After a decade of defunding Wisconsin's public schools to the point of a severe teacher shortage, doubly sad to see the Wisconsin GQP "weaponizing" this Omicron virus surge as another reason to rip teachers in this state. Just despicable, but the new norm in the Republican fascist dictatorship of the Midwest-Wisconsin.ReplyDelete
It's spelled OMICRON, not 'OMNICRON,' you mediocre state employee. LOLZ!!!ReplyDelete
Duly noted. I guess you "owned me", eh?Delete
Reminds me of the kids I taught in high school back in the day. You know, the peak years of your life.
LOLZ! And watch out for the OMIcron this week!