COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – With COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations on the rise, doctors and nurses in central Ohio said they have their hands full once again.

Doctors at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center held an update Wednesday on how they’re dealing with the latest surge and the potential threat of the omicron variant.

When it was first announced on Thanksgiving day, doctors at the Wexner Medical Center said they immediately ramped up their sequencing of test results to spot the first cases of the omicron variant in central Ohio.

Two weeks and nearly 1,300 sequences later, researchers said they have not seen any omicron cases in the area yet.

However, that’s not to say it isn’t already here and spreading.

This comes as case numbers and hospitalizations continue to tick upward. In fact, the average case numbers statewide is the same as it was during the peak of the first delta variant surge in September, but this current surge is showing no signs of slowing down.

Doctors at Ohio State said they’re working with the state of Ohio to get their hands on as many samples to test as possible, from many different areas, to get an accurate picture of the pandemic.

“Thinking of this as almost a canary in the coal mine, that we’re able to detect new variants across the state, different types of populations so we can get the epidemiologists, we can get the physicians, we can get the nurses data to think about things like contact tracing, think about things like additional restrictions,” said Peter Mohler, chief scientific officer with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.