January 19, 2022 – Deaths from COVID-19 from the Omicron variant are on the rise and are likely to increase rapidly in the coming weeks, according to new forecasts.
According to national forecasts, another 50,000 to 300,000 Americans could die by the time the current wave subsides in March.
“A lot of people will still die because of how portable Omicron was,” said Dr. Jason Salemi, an epidemiologist at the University of South Florida. Associated Press.
“Unfortunately it will get worse before it gets better,” he said.
The seven-day average daily deaths from COVID-19 have been rising since mid-November, reaching nearly 1,900 on Tuesday, according to data latest data from Johns Hopkins University. Moreover, the death toll from COVID-19 began rising among nursing home residents about 2 weeks ago, the AP reported.
Although the Omicron variant appears to cause milder disease, a large number of infections have led to more hospitalizations. If the higher end of the national forecast occurs, the total number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. could exceed one million by early spring.
“Overall, you’ll see more sick people, even if you as an individual are less likely to be sick,” Katriona Shea, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at Pennsylvania State University, told the AP.
Shea co-leader of the gathering team pandemic models through COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Center and shares projections with the White House. The forecast includes models from 11 universities across the country.
The upcoming wave of deaths in Omicron will peak in early February, she said, and weeks of death could exceed the peak of Delta variant and the previous peak in January 2021.
Combined models predict 1.5 million hospitalizations from COVID-19 and 191,000 deaths from COVID-19 from mid-December to mid-March. But due to uncertainty in the models, deaths from the Omicron wave could range from 58,000 to 305,000.