SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The number of people hospitalized with the Omicron variant is down about 2 percent statewide.

In Savannah, Dr. Stephen Thacker, the associate chief medical officer of Memorial Health said Monday morning they had 66 Covid patients admitted, 17 of them in the Intensive Care Unit. About a week ago, they had 72 patients.

“There’s been a slow decline in over the last really four days,” said Thacker. “So this is the first day we’ve had a negative rate, meaning that for a sustained period of days. We’ve had less people be admitted to the hospital with Covid 19 so to me those are usually the heralding signs of us moving out of the peak of a resurgence.

But he says they’re not over with Omciron.

“The reality is that in many hospitals and health systems we’ll be taking care of hospitalized individuals because of this infection really for the next few weeks,” he said. “So the surge is not over for hospitals but there’s hope the worst is behind us.”

Thacker also said that emerging evidence indicates that those who have been vaccinated and boosted have up to a 90 percent chance of not being hospitalized compared to a 57 percent chance for those vaccinated but who did not get a booster.

“So when you’ve had a booster that’s recommended and you’ve haven’t received it, then you’re not up to date,” said Dr. Thacker.

Thacker says plan from the federal government to send masks and home test kits to those who request them is a good move because more testing is one key to stopping the spread of the virus.

“I think many of us have experienced in our communities that the access to testing was still limited in this resurgence so this is one solution to improve at home testing for families,” said Thacker.

He also said people should still mask up and use better masks than some may have been using.

“If my goal is to protect myself most, then I need a mask that may help filter out more respiratory droplets out of the air and certainly KN95’s and N95’s do that,” he says.

Thacker says he has some hope that we will go from a pandemic to an endemic in 2002 but says one thing that must happen to achieve that is to vaccinate more people around the world.

“So the surge is not over for hospitals but there’s hope the worst is behind us.”