HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — South Carolina health leaders expect omicron cases to peak by the end of January.

Doctors in some parts of the northeast like New York, Maryland, D.C. and Boston have reported a plateau or decline of omicron cases in the past few days.

“While those numbers are encouraging, we have to focus on where we are right now in South Carolina in this moment,” Brannon Traxler, the public health director for DHEC said.

Traxler said on Wednesday that while the trend in the northeast and other countries is promising, but it doesn’t mean South Carolina is next.

“Right now, we are still seeing increases in our cases that are being reported and we are seeing hospitalizations increasing,” she said.

She said recent models indicate omicron cases and related hospitalizations are expected to peak by the end of January and decrease substantially by mid-March. 

Health leaders do anticipate the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients to remain higher than the pandemic low recorded in June 2021.