SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The number of COVID patients in the ICU in San Diego County is at the lowest point we’ve seen since the start of the pandemic, but health officials aren’t celebrating.
A White House official estimated last week the U.S. could see an additional 100 million COVID cases this fall and winter. That represents about 30 percent of the population.
About 80 million Americans were infected during the omicron wave from December through January, according to a CDC seroprevalence survey.
Health experts say a surge like that would cause more hospitalizations, but likely not at the rate we saw earlier in the pandemic.
“The average case of COVID-19 does seem to be getting milder, but this is probably more because we as a population are building up immunity, not because the variants are necessarily milder on their own,” said Dr. David Dowdy, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins.
Omicron subvariants remain dangerous for the unvaccinated and people with weakened immune systems, he said.
This CDC map shows community spread remains low throughout most of the country, but COVID is still projected to be the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. this week.
The U.S. could eclipse 1 million COVID deaths since the pandemic began as early as Wednesday, Dowdy said.