On Tuesday, Feb. 1, Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Steve Rosansky released a video announcement to Chamber members and other businesses and community members about an update in the local Coronavirus statistics.
“I’m sure you have been hearing in the news that the latest surge in Coronavirus cases has peaked and that the number of new cases has been steadily declining,” said Rosansky in the video. “Looking at the most recent Orange County data, this is clearly the case.”
According to Rosansky, the daily average number of new cases has declined by about 75 percent from its peak on January 8. More importantly, the numbers of people in the hospital or in the ICU have declined by 20-30 percent.
“Since these are lagging indicators, we should expect significant declines in the next two weeks, as the number of new cases continues to fall back to pre-Thanksgiving levels,” stated Rosansky. “However, the one indicator that remains relatively unchanged, is that over 85 percent of the people who do wind up in the hospital or the ICU, are unvaccinated.”
With the start of the new month, many businesses are trying to assess when it will be safe to bring their employees back into the office,” noted Rosansky.
“If current trends continue, by February 15, we should see Coronavirus indicators back in the range that we experienced prior to the Omicron surge. The state imposed indoor mask mandate will also expire on the 15th and it is unlikely to be extended assuming the downward trend continues.”
“Hopefully the return to pre-Omicron levels gives businesses and individuals more confidence to schedule meetings, engage in social activities like dining out and movie going, attending religious services and sporting events, and making travel plans as the spring and summer approaches,” said Rosansky. “Clearly, all of this is dependent on no new surprises—in other words, no new variants that are more infectious or more medically serious than what we are now experiencing.”
Rosansky said there are reports of a new Omicron variant labeled BA.2, which has been popping up all over the world, that might be slightly more transmissible than the current Omicron variant, although early indications are that it is not any more severe symptomatically and that current vaccines and boosters are highly effective against this new variant.
“No doubt we will be on the Coronavirus merry-go-round for the foreseeable future, as the Coronavirus continues to mutate,” said Rosansky.
For more information, visit www.NewportBeach.com.