ST. LOUIS – For the first time since Jan. 5, St. Louis area hospitalizations for COVID-19 have dipped beneath 1,200 patients. It’s a calming sign that the omicron-fueled surge may have peaked and has certainly flattened.

Total hospitalizations in the St. Louis area measured 1,194 patients Wednesday, down from 1,241 the previous day.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force—comprised of the SSM, BJC, Mercy, St. Luke’s Hospital, and VA Hospital systems—announced that 177 new admissions were recorded in the latest census of its facilities. That’s up from the 118 who sought help the previous day but marks a sixth consecutive day that new admissions have fallen below 200 people. That is important as the early part of the month saw many days with admissions of over 200 patients, including a record 244 new admissions on Jan. 12.

The task force also reported 19 new deaths on Tuesday, bringing the total number of deaths this month to 435. Exactly 190 patients remain in ICU units and 118 patients are on ventilator care in order to breathe. Pediatric wards reported only 38 COVID-positive children hospitalized in today’s numbers, the lowest total of kids hospitalized so far this year. In the last week, hospitals have reported 1,257 patients have been treated and released from their facilities. Only 1,202 people were admitted during that same stretch.