In a COVID-19 update given by Williamson Medical Center CEO Phil Mazzuca Monday to the Williamson County Commission, he said he was hopeful that the current surge of COVID-19 cases has peaked following an almost 500-percent increase in the hospital's number of COVID-19 patients over a two-week period.
The number of new COVID-19 cases has skyrocketed in the past few weeks in both Williamson County and across the United States, with Williamson County reporting 1,404 new cases in a single day on Jan. 3. This mark broke its previous record by almost 500. That same day, the U.S. reported more than a million new cases.
Despite the number of new cases shattering records, deaths overall remain stagnant, and have not increased in tandem with new cases. This is likely due to two factors: the Omicron variant being less severe than previous variants of the virus, and the majority of Americans (more than 62 percent) being fully vaccinated.
Nevertheless, during his COVID-19 update, Mazzuca said he was hopeful that the Omicron variant surge has reached its peak, and updated commissioners on the hospital's number of COVID-19 patients.
"The last time we talked, we talked about the fact that COVID volumes in that Delta surge were going down, and for the entire month of November and for the first three weeks of December, we were running in the single digits to low double digits for the entire month-and-a-half period, and we were pretty excited about that," Muzzuca said.
"But on [Dec]. 23, we had 11 COVID-positive patients in-house; on Dec. 30, seven days later, we had 40. On Jan. 5, we had 53, so we went from 11 to 53 - about a 500 percent increase - in a period of two weeks."
Pointing out historical trends of COVID-19 waves, however, Muzzuca noted that the first surge took about five months to peak - the second, Delta, about two weeks. It was Muzzaca's expressed hope, he said, that this most recent surge peaks at just two weeks.
"It was anticipated that for our region, we would be peaking somewhere around late January to early February; I'm hopeful that information is wrong because I'd hate to see it jump back up again into the 50s and 60s, but right now we seem to be stabilized in the 35-45 range," Muzzaca said.
Currently, Williamson Medical Center is treating 40 COVID-19 patients, eight of which are in intensive care and five of which are on ventilators. To date, the hospital has treated over 5,000 COVID-19 patients, hospitalized 17,061 and performed more than 37,000 COVID-19 tests.