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'If you don't really have to do it, put it off until February' | Staying safe during the omicron surge

As COVID-19 continues to spread in the Carolinas, data shows cases are starting to level off in Mecklenburg County. Doctors still urge everyone to be cautious.
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina doctor believes the state could soon be over the peak in the omicron surge of the pandemic. 

"We may be getting up close to our peak," Dr. Christopher Ohl with Atrium Health Wake Forrest Baptist Hospital said on Thursday. "I actually think that we'll probably peak here in the next week." 

In Mecklenburg County, the percent positivity rate for new cases was at 36% on Jan. 11. However, it's gone down for two straight days. On Jan. 9 it was 37.8%. 

Although he made the prediction, Ohl stressed for people not to let their guard down. Hospitals are still seeing a growing number of patients. 

"We are very, very busy," he said. 

Ohl noted hospitalizations don't go down for some time after a peak in cases, so everyone should still do what they can to prevent the spread of the virus.

"Obviously people come to the hospital and take a while to get out of the hospital," he added. 

With no restrictions besides an indoor mask mandate in Mecklenburg County, many people are going about their usual ways. 

Ohl said everyone should think twice before doing certain activities until we are past this latest wave. 

"I'm kind of of the mindset right now, if you don't really have to do it, put it off until February," he said. 

Credit: WCNC

He advised people not to eat out until February, to gather virtually -- including for church services, and don't go to the gym unless you wear a surgical-grade mask. Instead, he advised working out at home.  

"So, once we get thru the end of the month -- I think we can start loosening up some," he said. 

Contact Hunter Sáenz at hsaenz@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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