More cases, fewer hospitalizations expected with Omicron variant

Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 7:54 AM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - In Chatham County, case numbers and transmission rates have been trending up again over the past few days. However, with this most recent increase, the hospitalization numbers are not going up.

At Memorial Health in Savannah,  they have 16 COVID positive patients that are admitted into the hospital, which is significantly lower than what there was during the COVID spike in the fall.

Of those 16 patients, 3 of them are in the pediatric unit. Dr. Stephen Thacker thinks this time around, more kids could be hospitalized with the virus.

It’s a trend that other hospitals across the nation are already experiencing, with younger patients needing to be admitted for COVID-19. At Memorial the three kids who have been hospitalized are not vaccinated. Dr. Thacker says the vaccine is still the best protection against the Omicron variant and they are still learning more about how this mutation of the virus is impacting the people who contract it.

“It is certainly good at infecting us and it is probably going to make more individuals sick with COVID-19 in a shorter time frame but I think less people will have to be hospitalized and less people will need intensive care and hopefully there will be less people who have had their lives threatened from this infection,” said Dr. Thacker.

Over the next few weeks he does expect we will see the numbers continue to trend up but again he is hopeful that hospitalizations will stay down and we will not get close to numbers we saw with the Delta surge a few months ago.

He still recommends masking up when you are out and about. If you are planning to travel for your New Year’s plans, Dr. Thacker recommends using a N95 mask or other surgical grade mask instead of a fabric one. However, he points out that any face covering is still slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

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