California’s Omicron Surge Appears to Have Peaked

The wave of coronavirus infections that has engulfed the US for the past two months appears to be peaking, experts say. That’s especially true here in California. A White House forecast shows the virus likely peaked in California on Jan. 19.

“We can now confidently say that we are on the beginning of a downward trajectory,” Dr. Grant Colfax, San Francisco’s director of health, told the Los Angeles Times. San Francisco was averaging 2,000 cases a day last week, down from 2,700 cases a day from Jan. 3 to Jan. 9. In Los Angeles County, cases have fallen from 42,000 a day to an average of 36,000 cases a day.

We’re not out of the woods just yet. Experts caution that the crest of a wave still leaves plenty of room for infection. And some parts of the state, such as rural parts of northern California, don’t appear to have hit the apex just yet.

When can we all expect less risk? A couple of more weeks, says University of San Francisco Dept. of Medicine Chair Bob Watcher.

"Reminder: if your region hit Peak Omicron 3d ago, your risk of catching it today is about the same as it was last wk (unless you had Omi or got vaxd 1-2 wks ago)," he tweeted. "No reason to be let down guard – in fact, you're 6d closer to a time (~3 wks) when you can safely be less cautious!"

This article has been updated.