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If You Live Here, Omicron is "Out of Control"

Hospitals are filling up in these states, where the surge has yet to peak.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

There is good news on the horizon, when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. "As we get into February … it is very likely that most of the states in the country will have turned around with their peak and are starting to come down with regard to cases and then obviously hospitalizations," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on ABC's "This Week." The unfortunate news is: It's not February yet. Many states are experiencing a record number of COVID hospitalizations. Read on to see if your state is on the list—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Utah

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"As of Monday, Utah's one-week infection rate was ranked the third worst in the nation. The two states that previously outranked Utah's new cases per capita — Wisconsin and Rhode Island — reported that weekend's cases on Monday, Jan. 17, which no longer was part of the weeklong tally of cases the CDC posted on Tuesday," reports the Salt Lake Tribune. "The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to rise with a total of 776 people. This is an increase of 29 new cases since Tuesday," adds KUTV.

2

Arizona

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"Percent positivity for COVID-19 testing, a key indicator of how much the virus is spreading in the community, remains at a pandemic-high level in Arizona. Until the highly contagious omicron variant hit, the state's highest positive rate was 20% for the week of June 28-July 4, 2020," reports KTAR. "But that mark has been surpassed each of the last four weeks, topped by a record 33% the last two weeks." "Hospitals are still struggling to keep up," reports KJZZ. "Modelers say the fast-moving omicron wave of COVID-19 is likely now peaking in Arizona. But hospitals in the state are nearly full and experts expect hospitalizations won't peak until a few weeks after cases begin falling." "Our forecasting models predict that hospitalizations from this most recent omicron surge will peak around mid-February," Banner Health chief clinical officer Dr. Marjorie Bessel told reporters Monday.

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3

New Mexico

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Omicron may peak in New Mexico soon but it hasn't yet. "On Wednesday the state reported another increase in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, to 709," reports Las Cruces Sun News. "Another 40 deaths were added to the official tally as well, including 15 fatalities that were more than a month old, raising the total to 6,357. The state reported 4,119 new cases Wednesday, which does not account for tests (such as home kits) that are not reported to the state. The state uses seven-day rolling averages for a more accurate picture of the virus' activity."

4

Oklahoma

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"Officials say hospitalizations are still rising in the Sooner State related to COVID-19," reports KFOR. "On Tuesday, data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows that the state has had 922,873 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March of 2020. That's an increase of 8,810 cases since Monday. At this point, officials believe there are 133,074 active cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma."

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5

Washington State

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"A subvariant of the COVID-19 omicron variant was detected in two cases in Washington state earlier this month," reports King 5. "BA.2 is a descendent of omicron, according to information from the World Health Organization. Dr. Peter Rabinowitz, co-director of the University of Washington Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness and an infectious disease expert, said there are a number of sub-variants with COVID and it's natural for any virus to mutate." "The virus is continuing to evolve," Rabinowitz said. "And we know it will as long as that continues to spread around the world, as long as there are lots of unvaccinated people. And it can continue moving into new populations. It's going to keep evolving as we try to catch up with it."

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6

North Carolina

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"The state saw its highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations for the second day in a row with 5,090 currently in the hospital. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) also reported 20,286 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday and 105 new deaths due to the virus," reports WLOS.  "Some of our long-term patients COVID patients who've been in the ICU upward of about a month have passed away in the last three to four days, so that's been really sad," Dr. Teresa Herbert, chief medical officer for AdventHealth Hendersonville, told the network. "It's been really hard for the ICU staff who've formed good relations with those families, who have cared, total care for these patients. So it's just been a really hard time for the staff on the ICU."

7

West Virginia

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"West Virginia has surged past its highest number of covid-19 hospitalizations since the pandemic began. The state listed 1,043 hospitalizations of people with COVID-19 today. That is more than the 1,012 hospitalizations the state recorded at the height of the delta wave on Sept. 24," reports West Virginia Metro News. "We are very, very worried that our hospital numbers have not come close to peaking yet," said Dr. Clay Marsh, West Virginia's top pandemic adviser.

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8

How to Stay Safe Out There

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Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more
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