A recent study from Kaiser Permanente Southern California reported on clinical and epidemiologic data from cases testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection within the Kaiser Permanente Southern California healthcare system. During a period with mixed Delta and Omicron variant circulation, SARS-CoV-2 infections with presumed Omicron variant infection were associated with substantially reduced risk of severe clinical endpoints and shorter durations of hospital stay.
The study was released by MedRxiv as a preprint and is not yet peer-reviewed. The study reported on clinical and epidemiologic data from cases testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection within the Kaiser Permanente Southern California healthcare system from November 30, 2021 to January 1, 2022, using S gene target failure (SGTF) as assessed by the ThermoFisher TaqPath ComboKit assay as a proxy for Omicron infection.
The researchers used Cox proportional hazards models to compare time to any hospital admission and hospital admissions associated with new-onset respiratory symptoms, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, mechanical ventilation, and mortality among cases with Omicron and Delta (non-SGTF) variant infections. We fit parametric competing risk models to compare lengths of hospital stay among admitted cases with Omicron and Delta variant infections.
The analyses included 52,297 cases with SGTF (Omicron) and 16,982 cases with non-SGTF (Delta [B.1.617.2]) infections, respectively. Hospital admissions occurred among 235 (0.5%) and 222 (1.3%) of cases with Omicron and Delta variant infections, respectively.
Among cases first tested in outpatient settings, the adjusted hazard ratios for any subsequent hospital admission and symptomatic hospital admission associated with Omicron variant infection were 0.48 and 0.47, respectively.
Rates of ICU admission and mortality after an outpatient positive test were 0.26 and 0.09 fold as high among cases with Omicron variant infection as compared to cases with Delta variant infection.
Zero cases with Omicron variant infection received mechanical ventilation, as compared to 11 cases with Delta variant infections throughout the period of follow-up. Median duration of hospital stay was 3.4 days shorter for hospitalized cases with Omicron variant infections as compared to hospitalized patients with Delta variant infections, reflecting a 69.6% reduction in hospital length of stay.