The Omicron variant seems to have run its course locally. Having made its first Ulster County appearance in early December, it spread far more rapidly than any previous strain of the virus.
During the first week of the new year, according to incomplete state statistics, it hit an average peak of 482 new infections a day in Ulster County. During that terrible week alone, about one and a third percent of all Ulster County residents tested positive for Covid 19.
The four weeks since then have shown a steady decline in positive cases. The second week of January saw a daily average of 322 positive cases. Daily average positives dropped to 208 positives the third week in January and 146 the week after that. The first week of February has seen 78 positives per day.
Though the pattern could well change in a disease we know so little about, we might forecast about 50 positives per day in the week starting this Monday, 35 the next week, and finally 25 in the last week of February.
Hospitalizations from the virus are beginning to stabilize. The number of Covid deaths statewide have been under 100 for the past couple of days. The daily number of deaths in January was never that low.
The next few weeks will be critical for those facing the perils of long Covid. In a few weeks Pfizer’s pill regimen reducing the effects of the virus will be more readily available to those who test positive. That’s what the experts may mean when they say the present pandemic will then instead become an endemic disease.
Ulster County COVID-19 Active Cases