As Omicron sweeps the country, New York state offers a glimmer of hope

(CNN) As the Omicron variant sweeps the country -- pressing many hospitals into crisis mode -- data from New York is offering a glimmer of hope.
After a peak positivity rate of 23% on January 3, it's now 16.3% and Covid-19 hospitalizations have also started to decline, she said at a news conference.
"It is still very high, but this will eventually catch up with the trend that is just beginning," Hochul said.
She reported 49,027 new Covid-19 cases, adding that this "is a very positive trend" as the state reported over 90,000 cases just a week ago.
If the guidelines had been changed months ago, we may not be where we are with Omicron," she said.
The preprint study found about a 70% reduction in hospitalizations, ICU admissions and mechanical ventilation among children infected with Omicron compared with those infected with Delta.
About 1% of children infected with Omicron were hospitalized, compared with about 3% of children with Delta.
The study included about 7,000 children infected during a time when the Omicron variant was predominant and about 63,000 children infected when the Delta variant was predominant.
"In the crisis of higher virus transmission with the Omicron variant, immediate measures are critical," Alabama Department of Health District Medical Officer Dr. Wes Stubblefield said in a statement.
The state's largest school system will go virtual next week to address the uptick in Covid-19 cases.
There were 16,035 cases of Covid-19 in Alabama schools this week with all but four of the 143 districts reporting.
Nationally, many school districts that had started remote learning due to high Covid-19 cases among students and staff are planning to return to in-person classes in the next few weeks.