Scientists are seeing a number of signs that show the omicron variant wave will drop off in the United States and Britain.

Why it matters: The omicron wave of the coronavirus has led to deaths, high case numbers and hospitalizations. It has also created long testing lines and testing shortages for COVID-19.

Between the lines: “The variant has proved so wildly contagious that it may already be running out of people to infect, just a month and a half after it was first detected in South Africa,” according to The Associated Press.

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Yes, but: Scientists are still unsure about what could happen next in the pandemic. Plenty of people will still get sick as the peak drops off.

  • “And weeks or months of misery still lie ahead for patients and overwhelmed hospitals even if the drop-off comes to pass,” the AP reports.

What to watch: The tough part about the pandemic now is that there are multiple parts of the country facing different surges.

  • Models showed the omicron wave might be peaking two weeks from now in Massachusetts, per The Boston Globe.
  • But Michigan is warning of an upcoming surge of cases as the omicron variant moves West, according to The Detroit Free Press.
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The bigger picture: The drop-off comes as the U.S. broke last winter’s peak of hospitalizations with 142,388 hospitalized in a single day from COVID-19 last Sunday, according to The New York Times.

  • The previous record was 132,086 people hospitalized on Jan. 14, 2021.
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