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Omicron variant will create a surge in January or April, CDC predicts

The omicron variant’s surge could happen in January or April based on recent modeling

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People wait to get tested for COVID-19.

People wait in a long line to get tested for COVID-19 in Times Square, New York, Monday, Dec. 20, 2021.

Seth Wenig, Associated Press

The omicron variant of the novel coronavirus could create a massive surge of cases in either January or April 2022, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The omicron variant — which is already the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the U.S. — will infect millions of people in the coming months. But the spike of cases will depend on how much the variant evades vaccines.

  • The CDC warned that the “current increases in Omicron cases are likely to lead to a national surge in the coming weeks with peak daily numbers of new infections that could exceed previous peaks.”

Right now, January appears to be the most likely date for the COVID-19 surge from the omicron variant. The CDC predicted that the U.S. will see a surge of omicron variant cases before January after the holiday season wraps up, according to The Washington Post.

  • But the CDC said “scenarios with lower immune evasion” predict that the surge “could be lower and begin as late as April 2022.”

Either way, a COVID-19 surge from the omicron variant will damage the U.S. hospital system, according to the CDC.

  • “Projected large surges in cases indicate surges of hospital demand even if the severity is reduced, because of the large number of anticipated cases occurring in a short period of time,” the CDC said.

So far, it appears that the omicron variant does lead to less severe COVID-19 symptoms, as I wrote for the Deseret News. This would suggest there could be fewer hospitalizations from the variant, too.

  • Experts recommend getting your COVID-19 vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to stay safe from the omicron variant.