Coronavirus pandemic still raging in Texas

HOUSTON – Texas is once again, being called a coronavirus hot spot. The numbers are climbing in the Houston area, but the biggest spikes are in areas like El Paso and up in the Panhandle.

The state’s COVID-19 dashboard is reporting more than 993,000 positive cases.

Health experts say we are all tired of hearing about the novel coronavirus but say we must continue to do our part and help stop the spread of the virus.

“It’s constantly surprising us this is a virus that’s defined expectations,” Dr. Bell King, an epidemiologist at The University of Houston College of Medicine said.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo says there has been a 40 percent increase in cases and hospitalizations are on the rise.

“Positivity rate, which reached a low of 5.6% in September, is now up near 9% again and we know that the initial goal just to get down to level orange is 5%. So we are headed in the wrong direction,” she said.

In El Paso, people are losing their battle to the virus.

“They’re getting hammered and they’ve got morgues set up, patients at the convention center, they’re shipping ICU patients out of the community. Houston is growing when you look at new cases, hospitalizations are growing, but they’re growing slowly,” said Dr. James McDeavitt with the Baylor College of Medicine.

NBC News and the Associated Press say Texas is the first state to have more than 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the death toll is close to 20,0000.

“Can we get this going in a better direction than it is now? Certainly, it’s shocking. It’s upsetting,” said Dr. Bell King, an Epidemiologist at the University of Houston College of Medicine.

King says people must do their part as the weather changes and people prepare for the holidays.

“If you can’t avoid traveling... the best thing (to do is) isolation and quarantining you and your family whatever your bubble is in your household before and after so that transmission at one focal point doesn’t spread to multiple others,” he said.

The county is offering free COVID-19 tests at different sites. Click here for more information.