Upswing in Florida COVID-19 Hospitalizations: Delta versus Omicron

The upswing in COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida during the current Omicron wave is so far running ahead of the Delta wave of last summer.

We relied on data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to track combined adult and pediatric hospital admissions for confirmed COVID-19 among all Florida hospitals. The horizontal time axis is measured in days from the estimated first appearance of each variant.

By day 15 from the initial appearance of each variant, statewide confirmed COVID-19 admissions among adults and children combined were running at about 250 per day. By day 24, however, Delta-wave admissions were 311, while Omicron-wave admissions had reached 527.

Limitations

We do not have data on the variant underlying each hospital admission. Still, according to CDC reports on variant proportions, 95.2% of COVID-19 cases in the region including Florida were attributable to Omicron by December 20, that is, day 20 on our timeline.

We have estimated the initial appearance of the Delta variance as June 10, 2021. There are reports that the variant was in fact detected by late May. If we translated the time axis for Delta to the right, however, the Omicron-related hospitalization curve would be running even further ahead of its predecessor.

Still, the mere fact that Omicron-related admissions now exceed Delta-related admissions does not mean that the Omicron curve will reach the Delta peak of 2,360 statewide hospital admissions attained on August 17, 2021 (that is, day 68 from initial appearance).

Stay Tuned.

We will continue to monitor Omicron-wave hospital admissions in Florida.

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