New York may have passed peak Omicron surge, data suggests



New York may already have passed the peak of the latest surge in COVID-19 cases just over a month after the first Omicron case was detected, according to promising new data.

Big Apple health data shows clear dips in recent cases, hospitalizations and deaths — a trend notable across all five boroughs.

The trend is true state-wide, too, with the latest seven-day average of cases 57,865 — less than half the record 132,093 recorded the previous week, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The data is even more encouraging for the risk of fatality from Omicron, the highly infectious variant long thought to be less severe, aided by advancements in treatment and protections from vaccines.

The latest statewide recording was 78 deaths, a seven-day average of around 62 — just 6 percent of the staggering record high of 1,271 deaths reported in April 2020 during the initial surge across the Empire State.

Citywide, the 43 deaths recorded Friday also showed a downward trend from the 54 that Monday. The rate of positive tests also appears to be declining, with the seven-day average down to 30.9 percent on Friday, from a recent peak of 34.5 percent on Jan. 2.

A graph showing the downward data trend.
Recent data shows a downward trend in the number of reported cases.
NYC Health

Hospitalizations were also down in the city, with the seven-day average of 623 recorded Friday markedly down from the 873 on Tuesday. It comes as Gov. Kathy Hochul has also conceded that “about 50-50” of those hospitalized were admitted for “non-COVID reasons.”

New York officials warned the recent data are subject to revisions and are affected to a degree by the holiday effect, which can artificially depress trend lines due to delays or underreporting, Bloomberg noted.

However, New York City Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi said in a briefing Wednesday that he was expecting signs that the surge would be “approaching the peak in the coming weeks.”

New Yorkers scramble to get tested in Midtown.
New Yorkers scramble to get tested in Midtown.
Getty Images

Hochul on Friday also said recent data made her “hopeful.”

If the trend is maintained, it would follow South Africa, the nation that first detected the Omicron variant and said the violent spike in infections lasted just weeks.

Salim Abdool Karim, the nation’s leading infectious-disease scientist, previously told The Washington Post it was “good news for everyone” as he expected “every other country … to follow the same trajectory.”


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