First signs that omicron is on the decline in Cincinnati

A few indicators hold signs of hope for the Cincinnati area in its fighting the latest wave of COVID-19 but a peak has yet to be reached and a fight still remains, an expert warned.

Starting last Saturday, hospitalizations fell below 1,000 to 957 before falling back to 948 on Sunday, then rising again to 950 on Monday. But a net gain of 45 new hospitalizations brought the total down to 995 on Tuesday, a signal that even as cases slow, there is still a battle ahead for beleaguered healthcare workers.

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“There are a few indicators that are positive,” said Tiffany Mattingly, vice president of clinical strategies for the Health Collaboration, the coordinating group of 40 hospitals in the region. “There were a few days over the weekend that looked good where we were going in the right direction, then they went up a bit yesterday and a lot today.”

A dozen vehicles wait in two lines at the Gravity Diagnostics COVID-19 drive-thru testing site in downtown Covington, Ky., on Tuesday morning, Jan. 25, 2022. Lines a few weeks ago Lines stretched for blocks outside the site with vehicles holding people waiting for testing and more lines crowding the field.
What the Gravity Diagnostic drive-thru site in Covington looked like on Wednesday, January 5, 2022.

While health officials have warned that hospitalizations will remain high as cases ease, signs that the omicron variant’s grip is loosening could be seen in shorter lines at COVID-19 centers on Tuesday. local. Additionally, a key measure of how the novel coronavirus reproduces here has fallen into a range of less concern.

But even though the rate of new cases is decreasing, they remain well above the previous pandemic peak, likely due to the high transmissibility of the omicron variant.

Although cases are slowing, the Ohio Department of Health announced on Tuesday that it had underreported its daily caseload due to an error with its electronic laboratory reporting system, which means that more more cases are likely to be active than reported.

“The number of reported cases will be underreported today until the backlog is cleared and valid lab results can successfully pass through the system,” the department said in a statement.

Testing data from labs across the state is automatically submitted to the department through the notification system, but the department received five improperly formatted files Monday from a long-term care facility, according to the release. The number of invalid data has resulted in a backlog that will delay the processing of all COVID-19 case data.

The number of COVID-19 patients at the 40 Cincinnati-area hospitals hovered around 1,000 for nearly two weeks.

Mattingly said the number of daily admissions to Cincinnati-area hospitals — often 100 or more — remains a concern in the area. Even on days when admissions are below 100 and offer some relief to hospitals, the number is still high in the 80s, she said.

“We’re still fluctuating up and down and we’re still seeing a lot of admissions, we’re still in triple digit admissions daily most days,” she said. “…We’re not there yet. You can say with confidence that Cleveland is there, they’re on a downtrend. We’re not.”

The positivity rate for new COVID-19 tests in the Cincinnati area is 31.4%, or about 1 in 3, but down slightly from last week.

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What happens with infections?

The rate at which the novel coronavirus reproduces locally indicates that there is community spread of the virus.

The Situational Dashboard reports R nil, a value that measures the spread, for the region and its individual areas over the past seven days. Monday’s reading for the region was 0.81, according to the Situational dashboard of the Health Collaborative. In Hamilton County, it was 0.61. Any reading above 1 indicates community spread of the virus.

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How the coronavirus virus has spread over the past week ending January 25, 2022 in the Cincinnati area, as measured by R zero.  Any reading above one indicates community spread of the virus.

What is the local assessment since the start of the pandemic?

A total of 4,849 residents of the 16-county region have been reported to have died from COVID-19, according to an analysis by Enquirer. A total of 492,321 cases of the disease have been reported. This number may not reflect the full picture as some people have had the disease more than once – and countless infections are not in the total as they were discovered by people using home tests and were not reported to health officials.

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