HOUSTON – In the Texas Medical Center, and at more than a dozen hospitals throughout the greater Houston-Metro area, health officials say COVID-19 numbers are trending in the wrong direction.
“It’s kind of a shocker because everybody’s like, ‘We’re all out here.’ People are riding their bicycles and everyone’s having fun,” said David Bonsu.
“I think most people feel like because they haven’t caught it ever, ‘Maybe I’m just healthy’”, said Mike Betancourt.
Like Bonsu and Betancourt, others might not have realized the disturbing new trend with COVID-19.
“For the first time in many weeks, we’re actually seeing the numbers of new cases in COVID-19 go up, as well as the number of hospitalizations for COVID-19,” said Memorial Hermann Health System President and CEO, David Callender.
Last week, the Texas Medical Center recorded an average of 398 daily positive tests compared to 133 the week before. Also, last week, a positivity rate of 4.0% compared to 3.1% the week before was recorded, and a reproduction rate of 1.58 was recorded compared to .91 the week before.
“That of course means that the infection is again spreading in greater Houston,” Callender said.
He believes the reason why is twofold.
“We still have a significant portion of the Houston population that has yet to be vaccinated. And now, we’re dealing with this new Delta variant, which is more transmissible,” Callender said.
This means, according to local health officials, there’s still more the public can do to fight back against this ravaging disease and reverse the latest trend.
“We don’t want Delta to get you,” Callender said.
Callender said all the approved COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the Delta variant. He maintains the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 across the board is to get immunized if you haven’t already. And in the meantime, those who aren’t vaccinated should wear a mask.