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While peak in Hawaii COVID cases might be in sight, hospitalizations still poised to rise

Health officials believe they’ll know by the middle of this week if Hawaii has reached the peak of its Omicron surge.
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 3:20 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 25, 2022 at 5:21 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Health officials believe they’ll know by the middle of this week if Hawaii has reached the peak of its Omicron surge.

Officials say a steady drop in the number of infections is the first sign the surge may be on the decline.

On Monday, the state counted 2,660 new COVID cases, the third straight day of declining numbers.

While the number of people being infected by the virus seems to be dropping, officials expect COVID hospitalizations to continue to rise.

For each surge since the start of the pandemic, officials say there has typically been a seven- to 10-day lag between the peak of infections and hospitalizations.

The good news: For the first time in several weeks officials say many hospitals aren’t reporting crisis level staffing shortages. Part of that is thanks to traveling health care workers from the mainland.

“We had 327 staff arrive over the weekend, which is a very, very good news,” said Healthcare Association of Hawaii President and CEO Hilton Raethel. “And that brings the total number of FEMA-funded nurses and other clinicians into the state that we have right now to just under 700.”

In addition to those reinforcements, many Hawaii workers who were out either because they had been infected with or exposed to the coronavirus are now returning to work.

Raethel says they hope to get in another 100 clinical personnel from the continent this weekend.

All traveling staff are be on island for the next eight weeks.

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