COVID-19 cases slowing down in Arizona: 'I don’t think omicron has too many people left to infect'

COVID-19 numbers are trending in the right direction across Arizona as we head into February – it comes as January 2022 was a record-breaking month for cases in the state.

Arizona hit a record high of 27,681 new COVID-19 cases in a day a little over a week ago. January had seen the highest case counts at any point during the pandemic as the highly transmissible omicron variant hit the state hard.

On Monday, Jan. 31, we may be seeing a sign of relief. Just over 12,000 new cases with the 7-day average trending downward.

"We’ve definitely seen a decrease in the demand for testing. I think we’re over that peak of the surge. We’ve been fortunate enough to offer a lot of appointments with very little wait times," says Alicia Ottmann, director of operations with NOAH.

Coronavirus in Arizona: Latest case numbers

On the ground at one of five Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health sites, they’re starting to see a decline in people needing tests. At the same time, they’ve been equipped with new protective equipment that they’re giving to patients for free.

"We’ve received stock of N95s today, so we’re giving that as part of a COVID care kit. That also comes with a COVID-19 home test," Ottmann said.

As for a peak, there’s reason to be optimistic. Dr. Andrew Carroll says the trends are promising, but some other metrics, like hospitalizations, might take longer to slow down.

"Given the numbers of people we’ve had vaccinated, along with the numbers of people who’ve been infected, unfortunately, the numbers of those who have died, I don’t think omicron has too many people left to infect. Unfortunately, those higher numbers we had 2 weeks ago, those are the folks who are going to start ending up in the hospitals more and more, and we’ve already seen that. The hospital numbers are going to stay high for a little while," Carroll explained.

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