Has Michigan hit its omicron peak? Numbers trend in positive direction

COVID-19 omicron
Posted at 8:51 PM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 23:19:24-05

(WXYZ) — Since the week before Christmas, Express Med Urgent Care near 12 Mile and Evergreen in Southfield had been beyond busy handling a huge increase in demand for COVID testing. But late last week, that all changed.

“Suddenly out of nowhere it just dropped off completely,” said Dr. Ron Kattoo of Express Med Urgent Care.

Dr. Kattoo says for 3 weeks straight they had been doing more than double their usual amount of COVID testing, with positivity rates of roughly 30% percent. He says they aren’t the only ones seeing that dramatic rise become a dramatic drop.

"I checked around with my colleagues, same thing at other urgent cares, other facilities," Dr. Katto said. "I think the explanation is everyone got sick.”

On top of testing sites, hospitals like Henry Ford are also reporting positive signs that the spread of omicron is slowing down.

“I'm really happy to report that we are starting, and I emphasize starting, to see a trend that we hope will continue,” said Henry Ford Health System COO Bob Riney.

Riney says the health system now has less than 500 COVID patients (499) as the number of new patients and case positivity rates continue going down.

“This is a very encouraging sign and certainly what we hope will be the beginning of a trend, but it's obviously too early,” Riney said, reiterating that 499 COVID patients is still a high number.

In Macomb County, officials have another measurement. Sewage.

They’ve been monitoring the amount of COVID-19 in their wastewater throughout the pandemic and saw a dramatic spike on December 28. But since then, they've seen a dramatic drop.

“It looks like the numbers are falling off a cliff," said Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller. "It’s a significant decline, which I will take as a very optimistic sign.”

All of these factors lead to the question of whether this peak is finally over. The Michigan Health and Hospital Association is optimistic, seeing statewide hospitalizations also decline since hitting record highs.

“Hopefully that trend will continue, and if it does that will mean that yes, we have hit our peak,” said the Association's CEO Brian Peters.

However, Dr. Kattoo still urges caution, fearful we could see another slight increase in a few weeks. Especially if people let their guard down too early.

“I caution people," Dr. Kattoo said. "We’re all hopeful, but let's not get crazy optimistic yet.”

Dr. Kattoo also says his urgent care offers monoclonal antibody treatments which have been hard to find. You can call 248-798-1399 to book an appointment.