Relief in sight as COVID-19 winter surge tapers at USC and in L.A. County

The COVID-19 omicron variant — which went from newly detected to widespread transmission seemingly overnight — is showing a decline, both in Los Angeles County and at USC. “We are relieved to have passed the peak of this winter surge,” said Sarah Van Orman, chief medical officer for USC Student Health. As the campus emptied for the Thanksgiving weekend, the pandemic took an unexpected turn on Nov. 26 when news of the fast-moving omicron variant broke across the globe. Over the next 11 days, the variant was confirmed in the U.S. with a first case discovered in California, then in Los Angeles County, and then confirmed at USC. “Adjusting to the unexpected is how we have to move forward,” Van Orman added. “At the beginning of this surge, the data modeling helped us understand the trajectory of cases, and plan for a reasonable response in terms of remote start, planning for isolation space, and other measures. As the virus evolves, our responses have to continue to be adaptive as well.”

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