Spring 2022 COVID-19 Forecast

There are two inches of snow on the ground that should be cleared by 9:30 am. The COVID outlook for today is yellow. If you’re not boosted, then you should grab your mask on your way out the door. There is an accident on I-90 at exit 68, so you may want to consider alternate routes.

Is this the new normal? Will we learn to check disease forecasts as casually as weather and traffic reports?

As we enter the third year of this pandemic, Omicron has many Americans apprehensive about the coming year. The chronic anxiety of an ongoing crisis has supplanted the blind terror of the virus’s deadly arrival.

Prior to the emergence of Omicron, Delta caused large spikes in cases and hospitalizations in the American South, with the greatest impact on the unvaccinated. We are still in the midst of a Delta wave, but now it’s rippling across the Northeast, West, and Midwestern states, with hospitals in Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and others operating at or near maximum capacity. Omicron could overtax already stressed health systems, not least because it is estimated to be 2-4x more transmissible than Delta, and ~30% of cases are breakthrough cases.

Early evidence suggests that Omicron may be more transmissible than previous strains because of how it infects individuals, causing infection in the bronchus, the tubes that carry air into your lungs, rather than the lungs themselves. If Omicron infections are acting on the upper respiratory system, as early data suggest, then it may not cause the same damaging lung infections as previous strains.

The emergence of a new variant is scary, but experts are optimistic that Omicron is the next step towards an endemic phase of COVID-19. As you can see in the graphs below, daily cases will likely exceed previous highs, but our expectation is that cases will be milder because of Omicron’s unique features and increased immunity in the overall population.

What does this mean for you? As much as we all wish it were the case, COVID isn’t over. The virus is entering 2022 alongside us. That said, we’ve learned that masking is an effective way to prevent infection, we have effective vaccines and boosters, population immunity is higher than it’s ever been, and new variants are evolving. Our behavior is evolving as well, and a future where you receive disease, weather, and traffic push notifications every morning may not be far off. In the meantime, if you’re curious about the personal COVID-19 risks you face, check out our free assessment tool.

These changing risk factors shape the economy just as they shape our individual lives. Businesses are making crucial decisions about staffing, travel, and strategy for the coming year. Over the past few months, we’ve run hundreds of risk assessments for clients to ensure the events they’re convening are safe—assessments that include detailed projections for the host city and empower organizers to operate with proper health and safety protocols and prepare attendees and exhibitors with up-to-date information on the trajectory of the pandemic. We’ve also published studies quantifying the impact of various return-to-office strategies, and our platform is powering third-party data science efforts to simulate the future course of the pandemic.

So what should you expect to see over the coming months?

The Epistemix Spring 2022 COVID-19 Forecast

To show how and when Omicron could impact you this Spring, we compiled forecasts for sixteen of the top destinations in the United States. You can see peak caseload estimates, and how the Omicron wave differs from the prior Delta wave. We also discuss differences between cities and note current vaccination levels, uptake rate of boosters, and projected population immunity as of December 20, 2021. Just like the morning weather forecast lets you know when to bring a raincoat, our forecast will help you decide when to grab your mask or change your plans.

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Each forecast begins with a model that is fine-tuned for each city. This includes historical data on previous infections, hospitalizations, and deaths as well as the number of partially vaccinated, fully vaccinated, and boosted individuals. The timing of these infections and vaccinations are important because they determine the level of immunity in each individual and the susceptibility to infection in the population overall.

After calibrating the model, we simulated Omicron at different levels of transmissibility, either 2, 2.5, or 3 times the transmissibility of Delta. For each scenario, we compared the cases, hospitalizations, and deaths and noted the day of peak caseload. The peak day differs for each region due to seasonality patterns that create regional trends of respiratory infections.

Regional Trends

In the South and Southwest, cases will increase dramatically starting in January. With 3x the transmissibility of Delta, we will see explosive case numbers as high as 10,000 cases per day. In Orlando, this is 5x higher than any day during the pandemic so far. If Omicron is 3x as transmissible as Delta, we should expect a sharp peak with a quick rise and fall in cases as shown for Atlanta, GA. If Omicron is only 2 or 2.5x the transmissibility of Delta, we can expect a “wider” wave with a slower steady increase over a long period (2 weeks) of high case numbers and then a steady decline.

Time series of COVID-19 case numbers (seven-day moving average) from July 2021 to April 2022 for Atlanta, GA and Philadelphia, PA. Reported values are shown in gray (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, 2021). The colored lines show the number of cases predicted by our simulation subject to Omicron being 2x (yellow), 2.5x (orange), and 3x (maroon) more transmissible than Delta. All scenarios are identical prior to the introduction of Omicron in December 2021.

For the Northeast (New York, Philadelphia and Boston), expect a peak in early March. Cases will slowly start to creep up in January but will quickly begin increasing in early February. Expect case numbers to stay mid-high through April and not reach a low point again until May or June.

For the Midwest (Chicago) expect a peak in late March. The difference between 2.5x transmissibility and 3x the transmissibility of Delta has a significant impact on the shape and height of the curve in the Midwest that is more pronounced than the South. Cases will stay relatively low through January and steadily increase through the Spring. We expect cases to drop dramatically in May and stay low again until the Fall.

For the West (Denver, Sacramento), expect a peak in Late March/Early April and a slow, steady increase until then. Cases may stay high for about a month before they decline. Much larger differences between 3 and 2.5x transmissibility are likely because of increased vaccination and immunity in these areas.

City Forecasts

Scroll down to see specific COVID-19 forecasts for Austin, Atlanta, Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Washington DC, Chicago, Boston, San Diego, and Dallas.

Austin, TX

The 2020/2021 winter wave in Austin peaked on January 19, 2021. Cases steadily declined until reaching a minimum in June. A new wave of cases due to the increasing dominance of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 began in July 2021. At its peak, the Delta wave produced approximately 1,000 new reported cases of COVID-19 per day in Austin.

As of December 20, 2021:

  • 66% of Austin residents have completed their full course of COVID-19 vaccinations
  • 208,000 residents (12% of the population) have received booster shots

An individual’s immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is influenced by both their vaccination history and whether or not they have previously been infected with the disease. Population-level immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (or ‘resiliency’) can be estimated using our model. Each simulated individual in the model has a resistance to infection by each strain of SARS-CoV-2 represented by a percentage. The population-level immunity of Austin residents is the average resistance to infection across all agents and strains, taking into account the prevalence of each strain. We estimate that Austin has 69% immunity to SARS-CoV-2 as of December 20, 2021. This is a medium level of immunity compared to other modeled locations in the United States.

We have used our COVID-19 model to create a projection of the number of cases in Austin during Q1 2022. There is some uncertainty around the relative transmissibility of the new Omicron variant. Therefore we have run three scenarios in which the Omicron variant is 2, 2.5, and 3 times as transmissible as the Delta variant. We provide our clients with outputs for various scenarios in this way to enable them to make informed decisions in the face of this uncertainty. In all scenarios we predict that the peak number of cases will occur at the beginning of February 2022. The maximum number of daily cases predicted by the model is 4,200 cases per day in the 2x Delta scenario, 5,000 cases per day in the 2.5x Delta scenario, and 6,100 cases per day in the 3x Delta scenario.

Time series of COVID-19 case numbers (seven-day moving average) from July 2021 to April 2022 for Austin, TX. Reported values are shown in gray (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, 2021). The colored lines show the number of cases predicted by our simulation model subject to the Omicron variant being 2x (yellow), 2.5x (orange), and 3x (maroon) more transmissible than the Delta variant. All scenarios are identical prior to the introduction of the Omicron variant in December 2021.

Atlanta, GA

The 2020/2021 winter wave in Atlanta peaked on January 13, 2021. Cases steadily declined until reaching a minimum in June. A new wave of cases due to the increasing dominance of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 began in July 2021. At its peak, the Delta wave produced approximately 700 new reported cases of COVID-19 per day in Atlanta.

As of December 20, 2021:

  • 50% of Atlanta residents have completed their full course of COVID-19 vaccinations
  • 567,000 residents (11% of the population) have received booster shots

An individual’s immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is influenced by both their vaccination history and whether or not they have previously been infected with the disease. Population-level immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (or ‘resiliency’) can be estimated using our model. Each simulated individual in the model has a resistance to infection by each strain of SARS-CoV-2 represented by a percentage. The population-level immunity of Atlanta residents is the average resistance to infection across all agents and strains, taking into account the prevalence of each strain. We estimate that Atlanta has 70% immunity to SARS-CoV-2 as of December 20, 2021. This is a medium level of immunity compared to other modeled locations in the United States.

We have used our COVID-19 model to create a projection of the number of cases in Atlanta during Q1 2022. There is some uncertainty around the relative transmissibility of the new Omicron variant. Therefore we have run three scenarios in which the Omicron variant is 2, 2.5, and 3 times as transmissible as the Delta variant. We provide our clients with outputs for various scenarios in this way to enable them to make informed decisions in the face of this uncertainty. In all scenarios we predict that the peak number of cases will occur at the beginning of February 2022. The maximum number of daily cases predicted by the model is 15,000 cases per day in the 2x Delta scenario, 17,500 cases per day in the 2.5x Delta scenario, and 18,000 cases per day in the 3x Delta scenario.

Time series of COVID-19 case numbers (seven-day moving average) from July 2021 to April 2022 for Atlanta, GA. Reported values are shown in gray (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, 2021). The colored lines show the number of cases predicted by our simulation model subject to the Omicron variant being 2x (yellow), 2.5x (orange), and 3x (maroon) more transmissible than the Delta variant. All scenarios are identical prior to the introduction of the Omicron variant in December 2021.

Denver, CO

The 2020/2021 winter wave in Denver peaked first on November 21, 2020 followed by a second peak on January 13, 2021. Cases slowly declined until reaching a minimum in June. A new wave of cases due to the increasing dominance of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 began in July 2021. At its peak, the Delta wave produced approximately 900 new reported cases of COVID-19 per day in Denver.

As of December 20, 2021:

  • 72% of Denver residents have completed their full course of COVID-19 vaccinations
  • 476,000 residents (19% of the population) have received booster shots

An individual’s immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is influenced by both their vaccination history and whether or not they have previously been infected with the disease. Population-level immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (or ‘resiliency’) can be estimated using our model. Each simulated individual in the model has a resistance to infection by each strain of SARS-CoV-2 represented by a percentage. The population-level immunity of Denver residents is the average resistance to infection across all agents and strains, taking into account the prevalence of each strain. We estimate that Denver has 77% immunity to SARS-CoV-2 as of December 20, 2021. This is a high level of immunity compared to other modeled locations in the United States.

We have used our COVID-19 model to create a projection of the number of cases in Denver during Q1 2022. There is some uncertainty around the relative transmissibility of the new Omicron variant. Therefore we have run three scenarios in which the Omicron variant is 2, 2.5, and 3 times as transmissible as the Delta variant. We provide our clients with outputs for various scenarios in this way to enable them to make informed decisions in the face of this uncertainty. In all scenarios we predict that the peak number of cases will occur in late-March 2022. The maximum number of daily cases predicted by the model is 5,000 cases per day in the 2x Delta scenario, 7,500 cases per day in the 2.5x Delta scenario, and 10,200 cases per day in the 3x Delta scenario.

Time series of COVID-19 case numbers (seven-day moving average) from July 2021 to April 2022 for Denver, CO. Reported values are shown in gray (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, 2021). The colored lines show the number of cases predicted by our simulation model subject to the Omicron variant being 2x (yellow), 2.5x (orange), and 3x (maroon) more transmissible than the Delta variant. All scenarios are identical prior to the introduction of the Omicron variant in December 2021.

Las Vegas, NV

The 2020/2021 winter wave in Las Vegas peaked on January 14, 2021. Cases declined sharply through March and reached a minimum in June. A new wave of cases due to the increasing dominance of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 began in July 2021. At its peak, the Delta wave produced approximately 900 new reported cases of COVID-19 per day in Las Vegas.

As of December 20, 2021:

  • 53% of Las Vegas residents have completed their full course of COVID-19 vaccinations
  • 248,000 residents (13% of the population) have received booster shots

An individual’s immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is influenced by both their vaccination history and whether or not they have previously been infected with the disease. Population-level immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (or ‘resiliency’) can be estimated using our model. Each simulated individual in the model has a resistance to infection by each strain of SARS-CoV-2 represented by a percentage. The population-level immunity of Las Vegas residents is the average resistance to infection across all agents and strains, taking into account the prevalence of each strain. We estimate that Las Vegas has 76% immunity to SARS-CoV-2 as of December 20, 2021. This is a high level of immunity compared to other modeled locations in the United States.

We have used our COVID-19 model to create a projection of the number of cases in Las Vegas during Q1 2022. There is some uncertainty around the relative transmissibility of the new Omicron variant. Therefore we have run three scenarios in which the Omicron variant is 2, 2.5, and 3 times as transmissible as the Delta variant. We provide our clients with outputs for various scenarios in this way to enable them to make informed decisions in the face of this uncertainty. In all scenarios we predict that the peak number of cases will occur at the beginning of February 2022. The maximum number of daily cases predicted by the model is 5,000 cases per day in the 2x Delta scenario, 5,100 cases per day in the 2.5x Delta scenario, and 5,500 cases per day in the 3x Delta scenario.

Time series of COVID-19 case numbers (seven-day moving average) from July 2021 to April 2022 for Las Vegas, NV. Reported values are shown in gray (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, 2021). The colored lines show the number of cases predicted by our simulation model subject to the Omicron variant being 2x (yellow), 2.5x (orange), and 3x (maroon) more transmissible than the Delta variant. All scenarios are identical prior to the introduction of the Omicron variant in December 2021.

Miami, FL

The 2020/2021 winter wave in Miami peaked on January 8, 2021. Cases declined from January to March, and then remained steady until the end of June. A new wave of cases due to the increasing dominance of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 began in July 2021. At its peak, the Delta wave produced approximately 3,000 reported cases of COVID-19 per day in Miami.

As of December 20, 2021:

  • 80% of Miami residents have completed their full course of COVID-19 vaccinations
  • 364,000 residents (15% of the population) have received booster shots

An individual’s immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is influenced by both their vaccination history and whether or not they have previously been infected with the disease. Population-level immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (or ‘resiliency’) can be estimated using our model. Each simulated individual in the model has a resistance to infection by each strain of SARS-CoV-2 represented by a percentage. The population-level immunity of Miami residents is the average resistance to infection across all agents and strains, taking into account the prevalence of each strain. We estimate that Miami has 72% immunity to SARS-CoV-2 as of December 20, 2021. This is a medium level of immunity compared to other modeled locations in the United States.

We have used our COVID-19 model to create a projection of the number of cases in Miami during Q1 2022. There is some uncertainty around the relative transmissibility of the new Omicron variant. Therefore we have run three scenarios in which the Omicron variant is 2, 2.5, and 3 times as transmissible as the Delta variant. We provide our clients with outputs for various scenarios in this way to enable them to make informed decisions in the face of this uncertainty. In all scenarios we predict that the peak number of cases will occur on February 14, 2022. The maximum number of daily cases predicted by the model is 6,900 cases per day in the 2x Delta scenario, 7,600 cases per day in the 2.5x Delta scenario, and 9,000 cases per day in the 3x Delta scenario.

Time series of COVID-19 case numbers (seven-day moving average) from July 2021 to April 2022 for Miami, FL. Reported values are shown in gray (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, 2021). The colored lines show the number of cases predicted by our simulation model subject to the Omicron variant being 2x (yellow), 2.5x (orange), and 3x (maroon) more transmissible than the Delta variant. All scenarios are identical prior to the introduction of the Omicron variant in December 2021.

Nashville, TN

The 2020/2021 winter wave in Nashville peaked on December 20, 2021. Cases declined sharply then stayed low but steady through March, reaching a year-long low in June. A new wave of cases due to the increasing dominance of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 began in July 2021. At its peak, the Delta wave produced approximately 1,000 new reported cases of COVID-19 per day in Nashville.

As of December 20, 2021:

  • 61% of Nashville residents have completed their full course of COVID-19 vaccinations
  • 209,000 residents (13% of the population) have received booster shots

An individual’s immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is influenced by both their vaccination history and whether or not they have previously been infected with the disease. Population-level immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (or ‘resiliency’) can be estimated using our model. Each simulated individual in the model has a resistance to infection by each strain of SARS-CoV-2 represented by a percentage. The population-level immunity of Nashville residents is the average resistance to infection across all agents and strains, taking into account the prevalence of each strain. We estimate that Nashville has 68% immunity to SARS-CoV-2 as of December 20, 2021. This is a medium level of immunity compared to other modeled locations in the United States.

We have used our COVID-19 model to create a projection of the number of cases in Nashville during Q1 2022. There is some uncertainty around the relative transmissibility of the new Omicron variant. Therefore we have run three scenarios in which the Omicron variant is 2, 2.5, and 3 times as transmissible as the Delta variant. We provide our clients with outputs for various scenarios in this way to enable them to make informed decisions in the face of this uncertainty. In all scenarios we predict that the peak number of cases will occur in the first half February 2022. The maximum number of daily cases predicted by the model is 5,000 cases per day in the 2x Delta scenario, 5,800 cases per day in the 2.5x Delta scenario, and 7,200 cases per day in the 3x Delta scenario.

Time series of COVID-19 case numbers (seven-day moving average) from July 2021 to April 2022 for Nashville, TN. Reported values are shown in gray (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, 2021). The colored lines show the number of cases predicted by our simulation model subject to the Omicron variant being 2x (yellow), 2.5x (orange), and 3x (maroon) more transmissible than the Delta variant. All scenarios are identical prior to the introduction of the Omicron variant in December 2021.

New Orleans, LA

The 2020/2021 winter wave in New Orleans peaked on January 15, 2021. Cases then declined throughout January and February, reaching a minimum in March. Cases held steady through June before a new wave of cases due to the increasing dominance of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 began in July. At its peak, the Delta wave produced approximately 500 new reported cases of COVID-19 per day in New Orleans.

As of December 20, 2021:

  • 65% of New Orleans residents have completed their full course of COVID-19 vaccinations
  • 134,000 residents (11% of the population) have received booster shots

An individual’s immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is influenced by both their vaccination history and whether or not they have previously been infected with the disease. Population-level immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (or ‘resiliency’) can be estimated using our model. Each simulated individual in the model has a resistance to infection by each strain of SARS-CoV-2 represented by a percentage. The population-level immunity of New Orleans residents is the average resistance to infection across all agents and strains, taking into account the prevalence of each strain. We estimate that New Orleans has 65% immunity to SARS-CoV-2 as of December 20, 2021. This is a low level of immunity compared to other modeled locations in the United States.

We have used our COVID-19 model to create a projection of the number of cases in New Orleans during Q1 2022. There is some uncertainty around the relative transmissibility of the new Omicron variant. Therefore we have run three scenarios in which the Omicron variant is 2, 2.5, and 3 times as transmissible as the Delta variant. We provide our clients with outputs for various scenarios in this way to enable them to make informed decisions in the face of this uncertainty. In all scenarios we predict that the peak number of cases will occur in the first half of February 2022. The maximum number of daily cases predicted by the model is 4,000 cases per day in the 2x Delta scenario, 4,500 cases per day in the 2.5x Delta scenario, and 6,000 cases per day in the 3x Delta scenario.

Time series of COVID-19 case numbers (seven-day moving average) from July 2021 to April 2022 for New Orleans, LA. Reported values are shown in gray (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, 2021). The colored lines show the number of cases predicted by our simulation model subject to the Omicron variant being 2x (yellow), 2.5x (orange), and 3x (maroon) more transmissible than the Delta variant. All scenarios are identical prior to the introduction of the Omicron variant in December 2021.

New York, NY

The 2020/2021 winter wave in New York County peaked in March of 2021. Cases declined slowly until reaching a year-long low in June. A new wave of cases due to the increasing dominance of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 began in July 2021. At its peak, the Delta wave produced approximately 2,000 new reported cases of COVID-19 per day in New York County.

As of December 20, 2021:

  • 72% of New York County residents have completed their full course of COVID-19 vaccinations
  • 252,000 residents (16% of the population) have received booster shots

An individual’s immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is influenced by both their vaccination history and whether or not they have previously been infected with the disease. Population-level immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (or ‘resiliency’) can be estimated using our model. Each simulated individual in the model has a resistance to infection by each strain of SARS-CoV-2 represented by a percentage. The population-level immunity of New York County residents is the average resistance to infection across all agents and strains, taking into account the prevalence of each strain. We estimate that New York County has 69% immunity to SARS-CoV-2 as of December 20, 2021. This is a medium level of immunity compared to other modeled locations in the United States.

We have used our COVID-19 model to create a projection of the number of cases in New York County during Q1 2022. There is some uncertainty around the relative transmissibility of the new Omicron variant. Therefore we have run three scenarios in which the Omicron variant is 2, 2.5, and 3 times as transmissible as the Delta variant. We provide our clients with outputs for various scenarios in this way to enable them to make informed decisions in the face of this uncertainty. In all scenarios we predict that the peak number of cases will occur in late-February 2022. The maximum number of daily cases predicted by the model is 3,500 cases per day in the 2x Delta scenario, 4,000 cases per day in the 2.5x Delta scenario, and 7,000 cases per day in the 3x Delta scenario.

Time series of COVID-19 case numbers (seven-day moving average) from July 2021 to April 2022 for New York, NY. Reported values are shown in gray (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, 2021). The colored lines show the number of cases predicted by our simulation model subject to the Omicron variant being 2x (yellow), 2.5x (orange), and 3x (maroon) more transmissible than the Delta variant. All scenarios are identical prior to the introduction of the Omicron variant in December 2021.

Orlando, FL

The 2020/2021 winter wave in Orlando peaked on January 15, 2021. Cases then declined throughout the spring, reaching a minimum in June. In the late summer, a new wave of cases due to the increasing dominance of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 began in July. Over the last few months, cases and hospitalizations have been steadily decreasing, reaching a low point in mid December 2021.

As of December 20, 2021:

  • 65% of Orlando residents have completed their primary course of COVID-19 vaccinations
  • 42,000 residents (15% of the population) have received booster shots

An individual’s immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is influenced by both their vaccination history and whether or not they have previously been infected with the disease. Population-level immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (or ‘resiliency’) can be estimated using our model. Each simulated individual in the model has a resistance to infection by each strain of SARS-CoV-2 represented by a percentage. The population-level immunity of Orlando residents is the average resistance to infection across all agents and strains, taking into account the prevalence of each strain. We estimate that Orlando has 75% immunity to SARS-CoV-2 as of December 20, 2021. This is a medium level of immunity compared to other modeled locations in the United States. This level of immunity offers a “medium” level of protection to the population, significantly hampering the rate of new infections, but not enough to prevent future waves.

We have used our COVID-19 model to create a projection of the number of cases in Orlando during Q1 2022. There is some uncertainty around the relative transmissibility of the new Omicron variant. Therefore we have run three scenarios in which the Omicron variant is 2, 2.5, and 3 times as transmissible as the Delta variant. We provide our clients with outputs for various scenarios in this way to enable them to make informed decisions in the face of this uncertainty. In all scenarios we predict that the peak number of cases will occur on February 14, 2022. The maximum number of daily cases predicted by the model is 9,000 cases per day in the 2x Delta scenario, 10,500 cases per day in the 2.5x Delta scenario, and 16,000 cases per day in the 3x Delta scenario.

In comparison to the previous winter wave in 2020-2021, the Omicron variant is likely to be significantly more infectious than either the Beta or Delta variant. However, vaccinations and immunity acquired via previous infections is significantly higher at the start of the first quarter of 2022. As a result, while case counts may be high, the number of hospitalizations should not exceed the level seen in August and September 2021.

Time series of COVID-19 case numbers (seven-day moving average) from July 2021 to April 2022 for Orlando, FL. Reported values are shown in gray (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, 2021). The colored lines show the number of cases predicted by our simulation model subject to the Omicron variant being 2x (yellow), 2.5x (orange), and 3x (maroon) more transmissible than the Delta variant. All scenarios are identical prior to the introduction of the Omicron variant in December 2021.

Philadelphia, PA

The 2020/2021 winter wave in Philadelphia peaked first on December 8, 2020 and again on January 9, 2021. Cases declined sharply until late February, rose again through April, then declined steadily until reaching a minimum in June. A new wave of cases due to the increasing dominance of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 began in July 2021. At its peak, the Delta wave produced approximately 500 new reported cases of COVID-19 per day in Philadelphia.

As of December 20, 2021:

  • 58% of Philadelphia residents have completed their full course of COVID-19 vaccinations
  • 436,000 residents (13% of the population) have received booster shots

An individual’s immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is influenced by both their vaccination history and whether or not they have previously been infected with the disease. Population-level immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (or ‘resiliency’) can be estimated using our model. Each simulated individual in the model has a resistance to infection by each strain of SARS-CoV-2 represented by a percentage. The population-level immunity of Philadelphia residents is the average resistance to infection across all agents and strains, taking into account the prevalence of each strain. We estimate that Philadelphia has 72% immunity to SARS-CoV-2 as of December 20, 2021. This is a medium level of immunity compared to other modeled locations in the United States.

We have used our COVID-19 model to create a projection of the number of cases in Philadelphia during Q1 2022. There is some uncertainty around the relative transmissibility of the new Omicron variant. Therefore we have run three scenarios in which the Omicron variant is 2, 2.5, and 3 times as transmissible as the Delta variant. We provide our clients with outputs for various scenarios in this way to enable them to make informed decisions in the face of this uncertainty. In all scenarios we predict that the peak number of cases will occur in early-March 2022. The maximum number of daily cases predicted by the model is 5,000 cases per day in the 2x Delta scenario, 6,000 cases per day in the 2.5x Delta scenario, and 11,000 cases per day in the 3x Delta scenario.

Time series of COVID-19 case numbers (seven-day moving average) from July 2021 to April 2022 for Philadelphia, PA. Reported values are shown in gray (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, 2021). The colored lines show the number of cases predicted by our simulation model subject to the Omicron variant being 2x (yellow), 2.5x (orange), and 3x (maroon) more transmissible than the Delta variant. All scenarios are identical prior to the introduction of the Omicron variant in December 2021.

San Antonio, TX

The 2020/2021 winter wave in San Antonio peaked on January 16, 2021. Cases declined sharply, reaching a minimum on February 18. Cases stayed low and steady through spring and summer before a new wave of cases due to the increasing dominance of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 began in July 2021. At its peak, the Delta wave produced approximately 2,000 new reported cases of COVID-19 per day in San Antonio.

As of December 20, 2021:

  • 60% of San Antonio residents have completed their full course of COVID-19 vaccinations
  • 256,000 residents (12% of the population) have received booster shots

An individual’s immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is influenced by both their vaccination history and whether or not they have previously been infected with the disease. Population-level immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (or ‘resiliency’) can be estimated using our model. Each simulated individual in the model has a resistance to infection by each strain of SARS-CoV-2 represented by a percentage. The population-level immunity of San Antonio residents is the average resistance to infection across all agents and strains, taking into account the prevalence of each strain. We estimate that San Antonio has 71% immunity to SARS-CoV-2 as of December 20, 2021. This is a medium level of immunity compared to other modeled locations in the United States.

We have used our COVID-19 model to create a projection of the number of cases in San Antonio during Q1 2022. There is some uncertainty around the relative transmissibility of the new Omicron variant. Therefore we have run three scenarios in which the Omicron variant is 2, 2.5, and 3 times as transmissible as the Delta variant. We provide our clients with outputs for various scenarios in this way to enable them to make informed decisions in the face of this uncertainty. In all scenarios we predict that the peak number of cases will occur in mid-February 2022. The maximum number of daily cases predicted by the model is 7,000 cases per day in the 2x Delta scenario, 7,500 cases per day in the 2.5x Delta scenario, and 10,000 cases per day in the 3x Delta scenario.

Time series of COVID-19 case numbers (seven-day moving average) from July 2021 to April 2022 for San Antonio, TX. Reported values are shown in gray (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, 2021). The colored lines show the number of cases predicted by our simulation model subject to the Omicron variant being 2x (yellow), 2.5x (orange), and 3x (maroon) more transmissible than the Delta variant. All scenarios are identical prior to the introduction of the Omicron variant in December 2021.

Washington, DC

The 2020/2021 winter wave in Washington, DC peaked on January 13, 2021. Cases declined slightly through January, then stayed up and steady through March. Cases reached a minimum in June before a new wave of cases due to the increasing dominance of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 began in July 2021. At its peak, the Delta wave produced approximately 300 new reported cases of COVID-19 per day in Washington, DC.

As of December 20, 2021:

  • 68% of Washington, DC residents have completed their full course of COVID-19 vaccinations
  • 1,190,000 residents (21% of the population) have received booster shots

An individual’s immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is influenced by both their vaccination history and whether or not they have previously been infected with the disease. Population-level immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (or ‘resiliency’) can be estimated using our model. Each simulated individual in the model has a resistance to infection by each strain of SARS-CoV-2 represented by a percentage. The population-level immunity of Washington, DC residents is the average resistance to infection across all agents and strains, taking into account the prevalence of each strain. We estimate that Washington, DC has 67% immunity to SARS-CoV-2 as of December 20, 2021. This is a medium level of immunity compared to other modeled locations in the United States.

We have used our COVID-19 model to create a projection of the number of cases in Washington, DC during Q1 2022. There is some uncertainty around the relative transmissibility of the new Omicron variant. Therefore we have run three scenarios in which the Omicron variant is 2, 2.5, and 3 times as transmissible as the Delta variant. We provide our clients with outputs for various scenarios in this way to enable them to make informed decisions in the face of this uncertainty. In all scenarios we predict that the peak number of cases will occur in mid-March 2022. The maximum number of daily cases predicted by the model is 7,500 cases per day in the 2x Delta scenario, 8,500 cases per day in the 2.5x Delta scenario, and 14,000 cases per day in the 3x Delta scenario.

Time series of COVID-19 case numbers (seven-day moving average) from July 2021 to April 2022 for Washington, DC. Reported values are shown in gray (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, 2021). The colored lines show the number of cases predicted by our simulation model subject to the Omicron variant being 2x (yellow), 2.5x (orange), and 3x (maroon) more transmissible than the Delta variant. All scenarios are identical prior to the introduction of the Omicron variant in December 2021.

Chicago, IL

The 2020/2021 winter wave in Chicago peaked on November 16, 2020, and again on January 8, 2021. Cases then declined throughout January and February, reaching a minimum on February 18. Following a slight increase in cases in March, cases were low again by June. A new wave of cases due to the increasing dominance of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 began in September 2021. At its peak, the Delta wave produced approximately 1,000 reported cases of COVID-19 per day in Chicago.

As of December 20, 2021:

  • 66% of Chicago residents have completed their primary course of COVID-19 vaccinations
  • 902,000 residents (17% of the population) have received booster shots

An individual’s immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is influenced by both their vaccination history and whether or not they have previously been infected with the disease. Population-level immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (or ‘resiliency’) can be estimated using our model. Each simulated individual in the model has a resistance to infection by each strain of SARS-CoV-2 represented by a percentage. The population-level immunity of Chicago residents is the average resistance to infection across all agents and strains, taking into account the prevalence of each strain. We estimate that Chicago has 69% immunity to SARS-CoV-2 as of December 20, 2021. This is a medium level of immunity compared to other modeled locations in the United States.

We have used our COVID-19 model to create a projection of the number of cases in Chicago during Q1 2022. There is some uncertainty around the relative transmissibility of the new Omicron variant. Therefore we have run three scenarios in which the Omicron variant is 2, 2.5, and 3 times as transmissible as the Delta variant. We provide our clients with outputs for various scenarios in this way to enable them to make informed decisions in the face of this uncertainty. In all scenarios we predict that the peak number of cases will occur on March 20, 2022. The maximum number of daily cases predicted by the model is 7,500 cases per day in the 2x Delta scenario, 10,000 cases per day in the 2.5x Delta scenario, and 17,500 cases per day in the 3x Delta scenario.

Time series of COVID-19 case numbers (seven-day moving average) from July 2021 to April 2022 for Chicago, IL. Reported values are shown in gray (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, 2021). The colored lines show the number of cases predicted by our simulation model subject to the Omicron variant being 2x (yellow), 2.5x (orange), and 3x (maroon) more transmissible than the Delta variant. All scenarios are identical prior to the introduction of the Omicron variant in December 2021.

Boston, MA

The 2020/2021 winter wave in Boston peaked on January 12, 2021. Cases then declined throughout January and February before increasing again in March. Cases declined steadily and reached a minimum by June. A new wave of cases due to the increasing dominance of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 began in July 2021. At its peak, the Delta wave produced approximately 200 reported cases of COVID-19 per day in Boston.

As of December 20, 2021:

  • 67% of Boston residents have completed their primary course of COVID-19 vaccinations
  • 959,000 residents (21% of the population) have received booster shots

An individual’s immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is influenced by both their vaccination history and whether or not they have previously been infected with the disease. Population-level immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (or ‘resiliency’) can be estimated using our model. Each simulated individual in the model has a resistance to infection by each strain of SARS-CoV-2 represented by a percentage. The population-level immunity of Boston residents is the average resistance to infection across all agents and strains, taking into account the prevalence of each strain. We estimate that Boston has 71% immunity to SARS-CoV-2 as of December 20, 2021. This is a medium level of immunity compared to other modeled locations in the United States.

We have used our COVID-19 model to create a projection of the number of cases in Boston during Q1 2022. There is some uncertainty around the relative transmissibility of the new Omicron variant. Therefore we have run three scenarios in which the Omicron variant is 2, 2.5, and 3 times as transmissible as the Delta variant. We provide our clients with outputs for various scenarios in this way to enable them to make informed decisions in the face of this uncertainty. In all scenarios we predict that the peak number of cases will occur in late-March 2022. The maximum number of daily cases predicted by the model is 5,100 cases per day in the 2x Delta scenario, 11,000 cases per day in the 2.5x Delta scenario, and 13,000 cases per day in the 3x Delta scenario.

Time series of COVID-19 case numbers (seven-day moving average) from July 2021 to April 2022 for Boston, MA. Reported values are shown in gray (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, 2021). The colored lines show the number of cases predicted by our simulation model subject to the Omicron variant being 2x (yellow), 2.5x (orange), and 3x (maroon) more transmissible than the Delta variant. All scenarios are identical prior to the introduction of the Omicron variant in December 2021.

San Diego, CA

The 2020/2021 winter wave in San Diego peaked on January 8, 2021. Cases declined sharply through January and remained low until the middle of July. A new wave of cases due to the increasing dominance of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 began in August 2021. At its peak, the Delta wave produced approximately 1,300 reported cases of COVID-19 per day in San Diego.

As of December 20, 2021:

  • 56% of San Diego residents have completed their primary course of COVID-19 vaccinations
  • 496,000 residents (16% of the population) have received booster shots

An individual’s immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is influenced by both their vaccination history and whether or not they have previously been infected with the disease. Population-level immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (or ‘resiliency’) can be estimated using our model. Each simulated individual in the model has a resistance to infection by each strain of SARS-CoV-2 represented by a percentage. The population-level immunity of San Diego residents is the average resistance to infection across all agents and strains, taking into account the prevalence of each strain. We estimate that San Diego has 69% immunity to SARS-CoV-2 as of December 20, 2021. This is a medium level of immunity compared to other modeled locations in the United States.

We have used our COVID-19 model to create a projection of the number of cases in San Diego during Q1 2022. There is some uncertainty around the relative transmissibility of the new Omicron variant. Therefore we have run three scenarios in which the Omicron variant is 2, 2.5, and 3 times as transmissible as the Delta variant. We provide our clients with outputs for various scenarios in this way to enable them to make informed decisions in the face of this uncertainty. In all scenarios we predict that the peak number of cases will occur on March 7, 2022. The maximum number of daily cases predicted by the model is 4,700 cases per day in the 2x Delta scenario, 5,000 cases per day in the 2.5x Delta scenario, and 10,500 cases per day in the 3x Delta scenario.

Time series of COVID-19 case numbers (seven-day moving average) from July 2021 to April 2022 for San Diego, CA. Reported values are shown in gray (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, 2021). The colored lines show the number of cases predicted by our simulation model subject to the Omicron variant being 2x (yellow), 2.5x (orange), and 3x (maroon) more transmissible than the Delta variant. All scenarios are identical prior to the introduction of the Omicron variant in December 2021.

Dallas, TX

The 2020/2021 winter wave in Dallas peaked on January 16, 2021. Cases declined sharply in the second half of January and remained low until the middle of July. A new wave of cases due to the increasing dominance of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 began in August 2021. At its peak, the Delta wave produced approximately 1,200 reported cases of COVID-19 per day in Dallas.

As of December 20, 2021:

  • 55% of Dallas residents have completed their primary course of COVID-19 vaccinations
  • 428,000 residents (10% of the population) have received booster shots

An individual’s immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is influenced by both their vaccination history and whether or not they have previously been infected with the disease. Population-level immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (or ‘resiliency’) can be estimated using our model. Each simulated individual in the model has a resistance to infection by each strain of SARS-CoV-2 represented by a percentage. The population-level immunity of Dallas residents is the average resistance to infection across all agents and strains, taking into account the prevalence of each strain. We estimate that Dallas has 73% immunity to SARS-CoV-2 as of December 20, 2021. This is a medium level of immunity compared to other modeled locations in the United States.

We have used our COVID-19 model to create a projection of the number of cases in Dallas during Q1 2022. There is some uncertainty around the relative transmissibility of the new Omicron variant. Therefore we have run three scenarios in which the Omicron variant is 2, 2.5, and 3 times as transmissible as the Delta variant. We provide our clients with outputs for various scenarios in this way to enable them to make informed decisions in the face of this uncertainty. In all scenarios we predict that the peak number of cases will occur on February 14. The maximum number of daily cases predicted by the model is 10,000 cases per day in the 2x Delta scenario, 10,000 cases per day in the 2.5x Delta scenario, and 13,000 cases per day in the 3x Delta scenario.

Time series of COVID-19 case numbers (seven-day moving average) from July 2021 to April 2022 for Dallas, TX. Reported values are shown in gray (Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, 2021). The colored lines show the number of cases predicted by our simulation model subject to the Omicron variant being 2x (yellow), 2.5x (orange), and 3x (maroon) more transmissible than the Delta variant. All scenarios are identical prior to the introduction of the Omicron variant in December 2021.


References

Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University. (2021). COVID-19 Data Repository. https://github.com/CSSEGISandData/COVID-19

Jalal, H., Lee, K., & Burke, D. S. (2021). Prominent Spatiotemporal Waves of COVID-19 Incidence in the United States: Implications for Causality, Forecasting, and Control. MedRxiv, 2021.06.29.21259726. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.06.29.21259726