Welcome to the Pandemic 4.0 surge! The Omicron variant is now the dominant variant in Florida. The good news is that Omicron is creating less serious infections than Delta because of its slow growth in the lungs but the bad news is that it is massively more infectious multiplying roughly 70 times faster than Delta; and while vaccination is protecting against serious disease in most, there are significantly more breakthrough cases with Omicron in vaccinated individuals. And, a little more bad news is that most of the currently available monoclonal antibody treatments (MABs) are ineffective against the Omicron variant. That is true for our currently available MABs: casirivimab/imdevimab (REGEN-COV) and bamlanivimab/etesevimab. With the Omicron variant now accounting for well over 90% of COVID+ cases and the shortage of these agents, they will shortly be no longer available for inpatient treatment. Sotrovimab has activity against Omicron, but it is currently in extremely short supply with allocation via public health/governmental channels.
CSSE is reporting 56,785,399 positive cases in the U.S. and 829,274 deaths. DOH reported for the week ending December 30, 4,166,392 confirmed cases in Florida with 62,504 deaths.