Update on Florida COVID-19 Hospitalizations: Omicron versus Delta

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.

We update our initial comparison of the hospitalization curves for the Delta and Omicron waves in Florida. 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 27, however, Delta-wave admissions were 450, while Omicron-wave admissions have reached 767.

Limitations

As we’ve already noted, 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.

Log-linear regressions on the data points from days 10 to 27 give doubling times of 20.6 days for Delta and 7.8 days for Omicron. However, these early findings do not necessarily 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).

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

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