CINCINNATI — As officials report COVID-19 numbers trending downward, health leaders said they are hopeful the worst of the omicron surge may soon behind the Tri-State.
For the first time in more than a month, active COVID cases in Hamilton County decreased Tuesday. On Jan. 16, there were nearly 2,500 cases. That number is now cut in half.
"That's lower than we were a week ago, but it's still higher than any other peak during this pandemic," Hamilton County Public Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman said. "We are inundating our hospitals with COVID-19. Caution continues to be needed."
While Kesterman said now is not the time to let off the gas, he is hopeful relief could soon be coming as the number of people hospitalized appears to drop slowly.
Across the river, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the previous two weeks were the worst for many statewide statistics during the pandemic. In his COVID update, Beshear said the crest of the omicron wave could be coming this week.
"The growth is slowing in the very least — thank the Lord, because of how aggressively this is spreading," Beshear said. "What nobody knows is what the downward slope looks like. Now, we've seen a week or two with downward slopes in some of our states. Thankfully it's fairly dramatic, but remember we never hit pre-delta levels when we came down from the delta peak. That's something we hope to see."
Health leaders on both sides of the river did point to higher vaccination numbers, including in kids ages 5 to 11.