Has Omicron peaked in Johnson County? Health officials say don’t get hopes up as cases remain ‘astonishingly high’

Omicron peak

Johnson County health leaders say a recent dramatic drop in the county's reported rate of new cases was due, in part, to a lag in testing over the long holiday weekend and that the incidence rate and case positivity remain near record highs. They urge people to continue to take precautions, like wearing masks, in order to slow spread of Omicron and ease pressure on local hospitals that are still strained with the influx of COVID-19 patients. Above, nurses gather for a shift in the emergency room at the University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City, Kansas, which reported 100 active infections in its facility Thursday, including 21 patients in the ICU. Image via University of Kansas Health System.

Residents hoping that the most recent surge of the COVID-19 pandemic is waning in Johnson County shouldn’t get too excited about what looked like a decrease in new case rates this week, say public health officials, who described the county’s latest numbers as a downward “blip” and still “astonishingly high.”

County Public Health Officer Joseph LeMaster and Director Sanmi Areola spoke in different venues Thursday morning, giving slightly different takes on how the county is doing.