Omicron Variant Will Just Find About Everybody

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The rapidly spreading Omicron variant is dominating news media headlines across the globe putting pressures on hospitals and healthcare workers.

According to the Washington Post, the Omicron variant detected only in November has already overtaken Delta variant across the globe. Citing the CDC data the Post writes that the center “estimated that omicron was 98 percent of the covid cases in the country last week”.

In Minnesota, Gov. Walz announced Wednesday that the state is hiring 350 additional temporary hospital staffs (mostly nurses) to “relieve capacity pressure on hospitals”.

I would note that we’re going to have a pretty challenging couple of weeks here. That’s why we’re taking this extraordinary action.

– Gov. Tim walz at a news conference Wednesday (source: MPR News)

Recently, speaking with J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Dr. Anthony Fauci told “Omicron, with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility, will ultimately find just about everybody. Those who have been vaccinated … and boosted would get exposed. Some, maybe a lot of them, will get infected but will very likely, with some exceptions, do reasonably well in the sense of not having hospitalization and death.”

Omicron, with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility, will ultimately find just about everybody.

– Dr. Anthony Fauci (source: CNN Health)

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acting commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock cautioned that “while most people could catch the virus, the focus now should be on making sure hospitals and essential services function”.

I think it’s hard to process what’s actually happening right now, which is: Most people are going to get Covid. And what we need to do is make sure the hospitals can still function, transportation, you know, other essential services are not disrupted while this happens.

– Dr. Janet Woodcock at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing (source: CNN)

The CNN Health has summarized the current hospitalization data as follows:

  • In Pennsylvania, about 75% of Covid-19 hospitalizations between September and early December 2021 were among people who were not fully vaccinated, according to data from the state health department.
  • In New York, about 61% of Covid-19 hospitalizations during the week ending January 2, 2022 were among people who were not fully vaccinated, according to data from the state health department.
  • Beaumont Health, the largest health care system in Michigan, reported on Thursday that 62% of Covid-19 patients in its eight hospitals were unvaccinated.

Because of staff shortages due to Omicron infection and mandatory quarantine isolation, many schools, industries, airlines and other service sectors are experiencing problems, CNN reports.

Coronavirus-19 vaccination watch

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID vaccination tracker page (as of Jan 15, 9 a.m.) 651,532,915 doses have been distributed and 526,898,876 doses administered. According MDH COVID-19 Response vaccine data (as of Jan 12) a total of 8,967,160 doses of Covid-19 (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccines have been administered in Minnesota. According to the MDH latest tally (as of Jan 14) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 1,138,246 (out of 16,989,663 tested) with 10,971 deaths.