Omicron Spreads – fatalities on the rise

This picture tells it all – new cases across America are at extreme levels:

Lets look at this in table form:

Perhaps the messaging on Omicron being less lethal has resulted in a false sense of confidence – as we can see average daily fatality rates starting to rise across the country:

Generally a level of about 0.5 fatalities per million per day would be considered to be broadly comparable to seasonal flu. About 1 per million per day is about as good as we can seem to expect – so generally quite a few states doing reasonably well – notably California & Florida to name two.

Here’s the data in table form.

Lets look at this in whole numbers (not per capita) at the US levels. Average daily new cases are over 400,000 per day – and average daily fatalities are 1,360.

We will see how the data unfolds – but an average of 400,000 cases per day would be well over 10 million cases for the month – which would be a record – by a long shot.

Fatalities for the month of December were almost 42,000 – making this the 8th highest month for deaths on record.

States:

Most states tend to have the same sort of curve – here are a few from the north east – rising cases and fatalities:

Illinois has a strongly rising fatalities curve:

With a similar story in North Carolina:

Florida is bucking the trend – cases rose significantly – but no sudden spike in fatalities.

California, as noted previously has managed to keep fatalities down through Delta – but probably too early to call re Omicron.

Scorched earth – not yet:

Arizona is getting hit pretty hard which, I guess, means its too early to call the scorched earth theory. The number of COVID deaths in December was the 5th highest month in its history.

Arizona has one of the highest levels of total covid fatalities since inception in the country. At #2 on the list it has had over 3,400 deaths from COVID per million residents since inception.

The lesson here is that – if a state like Arizona – with already one of the highest levels of total COVID fatalities per capita – can be recording current high level of fatalities – then unfortunately there is still potential for significant stress ahead.

This snapshot from azdhs.gov shows current ICU capacity available of 6% in Arizona – with COVID patients taking up 36% of ICU beds.

COVID patients are taking up 71% of emergency department hospital beds:

This is not an isolated example. In Tennessee – hopsital capacity is in single digits:

The next two months are going to be very difficult. Don’t be too complacent about Omicron. Yes it is less lethal – but there are still plenty of unvaccinated individuals to create stress on the hospital systems.

That obviously has second order effects. Need emergency treatment for a non covid reason…. that may be difficult right now

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