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COVID-19 case counts slowing gives doctors hope for an end to historic wave

Posted at 6:32 PM, Jan 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-23 02:11:51-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Data from the state and the Southern Nevada Health Districtshow a significant slowing in the seven-day rolling average of new COVID-19 cases in what has been a historic surge of the disease led by the highly infectious Omicron variant.

SNHD officials said it was too early to speculate about the end of the Omicron surge, but a team of physicians, Dr. Daliah Wachs, Dr. Jeff Ng and Dr. Williams Pierce, told 13 Action News the dip in cases gives them hope.

"Hopefully, like New York, the numbers will drop down into the single digits," Ng said.

Ng and his colleagues said the rapid drop in new cases in other regions that saw the variant first has been a positive sign that Clark County could be heading in the same direction.

"If you look at the previous waves, the ramp-up and the ramp down are very symmetric," Pierce said. "So, this ramped up very quickly. Myself, I was just waiting for the steep decline, and that's what we're seeing now. The virus is going to have a very hard time finding new people to infect."

With every variant, however, comes uncertainty.

Wachs said a dip in the numbers doesn't necessarily mean the virus will follow patterns set by previous variants.

"Many people thought Omicron would only last for five days," she said. "We're seeing an encore, and I've just seen three patients today who've had a second surge of the omicron."

The group also believed hospitals shouldn't expect beds to open up any time soon even if Omicron fades as flu and other seasonal illnesses impact more people over the winter months.

"We're also seeing flu and colds piggyback on COVID," Ng said. "You'll see people with Strep Throat and COVID. You'll see people flu and COVID. That's not uncommon."

The doctors agreed the combination of viral threats is why people shouldn't forget to protect themselves from more than just COVID despite the years-long focus on the disease.

Wachs said, yes, people should get a COVID vaccine and booster, but also get the flu and pneumonia shot as well.