‘It’s coming’: Arizona medical officials bracing for Omicron wave to come crashing down in the coming months

“I feel very confident that January is going to be a very pivotal month for us in Arizona.”

Author: Josh Sanders | KPNX

New year, same predicament. On the first day of 2022, the Arizona Department of Health Services called the omicron variant “extraordinarily contagious” while adding 8,220 new cases and 125 deaths to its dashboard.

Since the Christmas holiday, Arizona has seen nearly 38,000 additional cases of COVID-19 and more than 400 deaths.

“It’s coming. I feel very confident that January is going to be a very pivotal month for us in Arizona,” said University of Arizona Associate Professor and Researcher, Dr. Joe Gerald.

Gerald said the combination of the delta and omicron variants spreading throughout Arizona has the potential to “rapidly escalate.”

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Arizona could see record numbers of infections in January but the greatest risk for hospitals is February due to the lag time of infections of 10 to 14 days.

“January is going to be the month we are talking a lot about cases,” said Gerald. “The delay poses the greatest risk because it compromises all of our access to critical care needs whether it’s because of Covid, or heart disease or cancer.”

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