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Though still deadly and spreading rapidly, recent county data on omicron suggests new infections are starting to wane. Though new daily infections are four times what they were during last winter's surge, Sonoma County Health Officer Sundari Mase shared evidence with an online audience Thursday that a corner on the virulent omicron strain, is being turned.
  
"We're now seeing just under 200 new cases every day per 100,000 residents. At the peak, we were at about 250 new cases. Hospitalizations also, appear to have peaked and plateaued, and they've started to decline---it looks that way. Other counties in the Bay Area are seeing similar trends. While it's too soon to declare an end to the winter omicron surge, there is reason for us to be optimistic that the worst may be behind us."
  
Nevertheless, the recent explosion in cases is having impacts, especially in the region's schools and hospitals, straining under the illness's weight. Supervisor James Gore relayed that a classmate of his son spent six hours in excruciating pain in an emergency room, awaiting treatment for appendicitis.
  
Mase said the flood of cases and massive demand for tests, have forced officials to postpone a requirement for certain workers to get tested twice weekly if they haven't had a booster shot.
  
"The twice weekly testing will be extended to March first or when testing becomes readily available. As you know, we've had a huge demand for testing, and supply has been an issue, not only in Sonoma County, but in the state and the nation. So, until we can guarantee that there is enough testing supplies, we are going to shift the compliance date for twice weekly testing."
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