Mayo Clinic doctors discuss Omicron surge, peak

Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 12:28 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Two Mayo Clinic doctors said Wednesday that the Omicron variant is approaching its peak and to expect a sharp decline in infections soon after that peak.

Dr. Curtis Storlie said the Omicron surge is about “half way done.” He said the state is averaging 250 positive cases per 100,000 people, and that it will soon reach 300 cases per 100,000, but after that he says the next few months will see a sharp decline.

Dr. Storlie said this is positive news, but this isn’t the time to become complacent, as the possibility for more variants is real.

He said we could see COVID-19 become an endemic soon, instead of a pandemic. Endemic means the virus would be treated more like the flu, that it’s always going to be here, it’s reached baseline and is constantly maintained with things like vaccines and boosters. He predicted moving forward, people will probably need two COVID-19 boosters a year.

“We’re likely at peak, reaching peak,” Storlie said. “What does that mean? It means we’re half done with this current surge. So, I think it’s important to recognize the Omicron surge is not over. There’s going to be thousands of infections and hospitalizations on the way back down too.”

Dr. Conor Loftus with Mayo Clinic agreed with Storlie. Both urge people to continue to practice good hygiene, wear masks when needed and to get vaccinated.

Both also agreed that it’s unlikely a deadlier variant will emerge from here on out.

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