New York City and some north-eastern US states appear to be seeing rapid decreases in their numbers of Covid-19 cases in recent days, raising the possibility that the Omicron wave has now already peaked in some parts of America.
In New York City the rolling seven-day average of new cases was less than 28,000 a day on 16 January, down from an average of more than 40,000 on 9 January.
Similar patterns were being observed in the state as a whole and other nearby regions.
“The Covid forecast is improving … the Covid clouds are parting,” said Kathy Hochul, the New York governor, in a statement Sunday after releasing figures that showed positivity rates in the state are falling sharply. “Overall, the prognosis, the forecast, for Covid is much brighter than it had been before.”
Some 400,000 tests were conducted in New York on Saturday, with a positivity rate of 12.9%. Just one week ago, on a similar number of tests, the positivity rate was almost 20%. The state reported 51,264 new cases on Saturday, down from the peak of more than 90,000 a week earlier, according to a New York Times database. The number of people hospitalized fell for a fourth straight day.
Several other north-east states – including New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island – may be heading in a similar, down-trending direction.