Houston area COVID-19 numbers are down, but health officials warn not to relax just yet

HOUSTON – More than 12 million Texans have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Positivity and hospitalization rates are all trending down, yet doctors in the Texas Medical Center are still asking people not to celebrate just yet.

“The race against vaccination and the variants is what we’re engaged in now,” said senior vice president and dean of clinical affairs at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. James McDeavitt.

McDeavitt said with the more infectious UK strain of COVID-19 dominant in our area; until more people are vaccinated the numbers can easily go back up.

“If you drive around Houston it seems like there’s a little bit more buzz, people are out more, the restaurants are starting to fill up,” McDeavitt said.

McDeavitt is not calling for a return to pandemic restrictions but simply cautions that social distancing, regularly hand-washing and mask-wearing are still needed. Some Houstonians agree.

“I don’t feel safe without my mask,” said Pedro Ruiz, who spoke with KPRC 2 outside a Pasadena CVS. “Even though the numbers are low, I prefer to use the mask.”

Data collected by the Texas Medical Center for Harris and eight surrounding counties shows the number of COVID patients admitted to a hospital each day has been going down since January.

Data shows hospital rates in Houston area are down as of April 5, 2021. (KPRC 2)