HOUSTON - Nationally, some are suggesting the U.S. may have reached or be close to reaching the peak of this wave of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
In the Houston area, Dr. David Persse says there are some small signs of progress against the current surge. The positivity rate is slightly down from over 20 percent to now 19.2 percent. He also says the wastewater appears to show fewer viruses.
However, he reports confusing fluctuations among hospital systems. Some are reporting numbers are going down and some are noting no change at all.
Overall, he says hospitalizations appear to be plateauing, but it's a high plateau.
The Texas Medical Center reports on Wednesday there were 387 new COVID-19 admissions. It is not a significant change from the last three weeks which ranged from 369 to 390, but compare that to 246 admissions a month ago and about 50 admissions in mid-June,
"It's an unusual situation. We've not seen the numbers do this before so I'm a little confused about exactly what is causing it," Dr. Persse said.
What has not changed, he notes, is almost all who are hospitalized are unvaccinated.
As for pediatric hospitalizations, Dr. James Versalovic, Interim Pediatrician-in-Chief at Texas Children's Hospital says they are still in the thick of it.
"It may be that we've peaked in terms of adult cases with children it's less certain now," Dr. Versalovic said.
He adds it's fair to say their COVID-19 hospitalizations have plateaued, but they are at the highest level they have ever been during the pandemic.
"We have stayed above 50 children which is notable in this Delta surge now for a number of days, more than a week, and we continue to be at that high level," he explained. "Keep in mind that during the prior peak for children here at Texas Children's in Houston we had peaks in the 40s and 30s and now we've been consistently above 50. We were above 60 at one point in August."
He worries with schools open and the Labor Day holiday hospitalizations could go up again.
"We continue to see very high numbers of children seeking care at various care locations across the greater Houston area and our testing numbers peaked just last week at the end of August, but we continue to see very high numbers of children tested for symptomatic infections," Dr. Versalovic added.
He worries they could also see more cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children or MIS-C because of COVID-19 in the coming weeks.
"Please note that a child who may have had a mild infection early on, several weeks ago, perhaps in the month of July, could be presenting now with MIS-C," he explained.
On average, MIS-C shows up 4 weeks after a COVID-9 infection.