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Predictive modeling by Scripps Health shows that the current surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations should wind down by early March, with a slow decrease in patient volumes driven by the Omicron variant of the virus over the coming weeks, the San Diego health system said Monday.

While that certainly is good news for the San Diego region, health system officials said staffing demands at Scripps facilities will remain high as hospitals stay busy with cases unrelated to COVID and as other patients reschedule procedures that were deferred during the ongoing pandemic surge.

We are finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel for the Omicron surge, but this pandemic likely isn’t ending,” said Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder

Scripps data experts have been using sophisticated and complex computer modeling of the virus in San Diego County since April 2020 to better plan for the use of staffing and critical resources, such as intensive care beds, medical/surgical beds and personal protective equipment.

The accuracy level of the modeling, which is updated at least once a week, has been extremely high, running in the low to mid-90% range during all three of the major COVID surges — the Alpha variant in the winter of 2020, the Delta variant in the summer of 2021 and the current Omicron variant which arrived this winter.

And the Los Angeles Times reports that the ranks of the Los Angeles Police Department have rebounded after a massive surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, with the number of officers out sick or quarantining dropping from 1,333 last week to just 362 this week.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore provided the new figures to the civilian Police Commission on Tuesday morning, saying the recovery is a welcome shift ahead of major deployments planned for the upcoming Super Bowl.

At the peak of the Omicron variant surge last month, the LAPD saw more than 600 new cases in a single week and more than 1,000 over a two-week period.

Those numbers have decreased significantly, with 290 new coronavirus cases in the past week, Moore said. Of those, 132 were among vaccinated officers. Vaccinated individuals have experienced less severe symptoms than unvaccinated people, for the most part.

The Rams face the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. Moore said he hopes people come out to celebrate the historic game – in L.A. with the hometown team playing – and that the LAPD is prepared to help them do so safely and responsibly.