LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — State health leaders say we are getting closer to the peak of the Omicron variant.

During Governor Asa Hutchinson’s COVID-19 briefing, the state reported a decrease in COVID-19 cases Tuesday for all age ranges. However, as cases could fall, hospitalizations could still rise because they are considered a lagging indicator of the virus.

“While the numbers are apparently decreasing at this time, and I think they will continue to decrease…we need to keep in mind those individuals that are already infected and will require hospitalizations,” Romero said.

While, a newly released UAMS COVID-19 report is predicting an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations over the next two weeks, according to Dr. Mark Williams at UAMS.

“The most likely scenario is that the current surge will continue into February, with the situation getting worse in the next week,” Williams said.

Williams said he hopes the models predicting more cases in the Natural State don’t come true, but he said hospitals should continue to prepare for more patients.

According to the report, by mid-February Arkansas could surpass more than one million total COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.