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Early indicators show COVID-19 numbers may be improving in Houston

"The numbers are in fact starting to move in the right direction," said Dr. David Persse with the Houston Health Department.

HOUSTON — The omicron variant pushed COVID-19 cases higher than ever before in Houston. 

Two weeks into the new year, health officials say the end of that wave may be near.

"The numbers are in fact starting to move in the right direction," said Dr. David Persse with the Houston Health Department. "Our earliest indicator is of course the wastewater." 

Dr. Persse says wastewater tests from January 3 showed the spread of the virus is slowing down. This week’s samples are being analyzed now, so the results will be available early next week.

“We have seen hospitalizations at some hospitals have leveled off. Some have even said they’ve seen a small decrease in the number of patients in the hospital,” said Dr. Persse.

RELATED: Houston Health Department now testing wastewater at schools for flu and COVID-19

The Texas Medical Center’s COVID-19 dashboard shows the 7-day trend of cases and the 7-day trend of test positivity are both declining.

At Memorial Hermann Hospital, there are currently around 900 patients admitted with COVID-19. That was the peak during the delta surge over the summer. Doctors are hopeful we’ve reached a peak again.

“I don’t know if we’ve hit it. I know sometimes there’s a little bit of finagling, but I think we’re awfully close, if we haven’t hit it already,” said Dr. Annamaria Macaluso Davidson.

Health officials say they need a few more days of data to know for sure if the worst is behind us.

"The virus finds it more difficult to spread for a reason, because we change what we’re doing. It makes it more difficult for the virus. That’s what makes the curve change," said Dr. Persse. "Now that it’s changing, we don’t need to stop doing what we’re doing. If we change, they’ll start going up again."

Editor's Note: The following video was upload on Jan 12, 2022.