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The number of COVID patients in US hospitals reaches a record low

 Pedestrians wearing protective masks walk along Broadway in the SoHo district of New York, Friday, March 4, 2022. COVID-19 hospitalization numbers have plunged to their lowest levels since the early days of the pandemic, offering a much needed break to health care workers and patients alike following the omicron surge.
AP
Pedestrians wearing protective masks walk along Broadway in the SoHo district of New York, Friday, March 4, 2022. COVID-19 hospitalization numbers have plunged to their lowest levels since the early days of the pandemic, offering a much needed break to health care workers and patients alike following the omicron surge.

USF epidemiologist Jason Salemi says it's a good time for an exhausted health care system to take a breath but he warned that the public health community needs to keep an eye on the BA.2 subvariant.

COVID-19 hospitalization numbers have plunged to their lowest levels since the summer of 2020, offering a much needed break to health care workers and patients following the omicron surge.

The number of patients hospitalized with the coronavirus has fallen more than 90% in more than two months, and some hospitals are going days without a COVID-19 patient in intensive care for the first time since early 2020.

“We should all be smiling that the number of people sitting in the hospital right now with COVID, and people in intensive care units with COVID, are at this low point,” University of South Florida epidemiologist Jason Salemi tells the Associated Press.

But, he said, the nation “paid a steep price to get to this stage. ... A lot of people got sick and a lot of people died.”

The freed up beds are expected to help U.S. hospitals retain exhausted staff, treat non-COVID-19 patients more quickly and cut down on inflated costs. More family members can visit loved ones. And doctors hope to see a correction to the slide in pediatric visits, yearly checkups and cancer screenings.

Salemi agreed this is a good time for an exhausted health care system to take a breath, he warned that the public health community needs to keep an eye on the BA.2 subvariant of omicron. It’s driving increases in hospitalizations in Britain, and is now estimated to make up more than half of U.S. infections.

“We’re probably under-detecting true infections now more than at any other time during the pandemic,” Salemi said.

Click here to read more of this article from the Associated Press.

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