After weeks of an unprecedented spike in coronavirus cases that challenged hospitals, schools and other institutions, there are growing indications that the surge spawned by the Omicron variant is flattening and, in some parts of California, even beginning to wane.

Health officials in San Francisco said Thursday they believe they’ve passed the peak of the latest wave. And in Los Angeles County, there’s cautious optimism that the days of exponential growth may be in the rearview mirror.

But officials warn that hospitals will continue to face significant challenges in the coming days and weeks, and that Californians need to keep their guard up.

“We can now confidently say that we are on the beginning of a downward trajectory,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, San Francisco’s director of health. According to state data, San Francisco averaged nearly 2,700 cases a day from Jan. 3 to Jan. 9 but is now averaging about 2,000 cases a day.

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