Although the rate of new Covid infections in some parts of the US (and the world) is rising right now, it is dropping in our immediate vicinity. It seems likely that we are on our way to at least a partial recovery from the “omicron surge”. However, infection rates are still extremely high, so we can’t relax yet.

The graphs below show the daily reported infections for Chester County and our two nearest neighbors (Delaware County in Pennsylvania and New Castle County in Delaware). As you can see, in all three counties the peak occurred during the second week of January, and there has been significant improvement since. The state of Pennsylvania as a whole is also showing signs of improvement, although many individual counties are not.

County trends. These graphs, from the New York Times, show the daily new Covid cases for our county (Chester) and for the two nearby counties (Delaware County, PA and New Castle County, DE). The vertical bars are the daily reported cases, and the red line is the 7-day moving average.

So the good news is that we’re vaccinated and boosted, and the numbers are dropping in the surrounding counties.

But that doesn’t mean we can abandon our safe Covid practices. Yes, new infections are down (to about 904 per 100,000 of population in Chester County for the past week, according to the County Health Department), but that is still more than 3 times the level of last winter’s peak, and more than 10 times the level of last summer’s low point. And the current variant, omicron, is extremely contagious—far more so than any previous variant.

It’s probably wise not to change safe habits just yet.