SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The average number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the past week dropped to 11,860 nationwide. A steep decline from the peak of more than 145,000 in January.
Following the trend across the nation, in Sacramento COVID-19 hospitalizations have dropped to their lowest levels since the early days of the pandemic.
UC Davis Health recently announced that for the first time in two years, they saw zero COVID patients in their ICU for two consecutive days. Following the news, ABC10 also checked in with other hospitals in the Sacramento area to see how they were doing.
"The overall numbers are very good," said Dr. Parimal Bharucha, Dignity Health, pulmonary critical care physician. "It is a significant improvement compared to a few weeks back when it was crazy high."
Bharucha primarily works for Mercy Hospital of Folsom as the ICU Director and as Chairman for the Department of Medicine at Mercy San Juan Medical Center. Dignity Health operates a total of six hospitals in the Greater Sacramento area.
"At Mercy Hospital Folsom, we have zero patients for two days for COVID in the ICU and there is one patient in Mercy San Juan Hospital. Total (number) for the Dignity Hospitals is less than 20," said Bharucha. "Most of the people in Sacramento now probably have at some point been exposed to Omicron and/or the previous viruses."
Bharucha credits herd immunity along with the high rate of vaccinations among Californians for a steep decline in cases. While cautiously optimistic, Bharucha still encourages everyone to remain vigilant and continue following safety precautions.
"I think we can see the light at the end of the tunnel," said Bharucha. "In the same token, I would say don't let your guards down."
On Thursday, UC Davis Health announced their ICU was also COVID clear for two days in a row. Chief Nursing and Patient Care Services Officer Toby Marsh released a statement saying in part, "We hope the ICU numbers show a sustained change."
Meanwhile, Dr. Bharucha remains cautiously optimistic — still encouraging everyone to remain vigilant.
"I think we can see the light at the end of the tunnel," Bharucha said. "In the same token, I would say don't let your guards down."
In a statement to ABC 10, Kaiser Permanente said "Our Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Northern California are experiencing a decline in the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19. However, it is important to note that while we are seeing fewer people hospitalized with COVID-19, the virus has not disappeared in our communities. We continue to urge all people to receive their COVID-19 vaccination and boosters when eligible."