Fort Bend County Judge KP George, officials give update on county’s COVID-19 efforts

Fort Bend County Judge KP George and County Health and Emergency Management officials discussed the county’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts and recommended precautions that may affect vaccinations countywide.

County officials gave an update on vaccination distributions, efforts to increase vaccine access for at-risk communities, the impact of COVID-19 variants in the county and the recommended precautions being taken to reduce the risk of the COVID-19 virus.

George said the county is putting in the effort to make sure residents have easy access to the vaccine to help prevent the spread of the virus. He said that among the county’s population aged 65 and up, 95% have received one dose of the vaccine and 88% of residents have been fully vaccinated.

Fort Bend County Human and Health Director Dr. Jacqueline Minter said the county was made aware of the Delta variant a month ago when it was first detected in five residents who tested positive. Minter emphasized the importance of receiving both doses of the vaccine and wearing a mask when out in public. She said in the past week, 77% of the county’s coronavirus cases coronavirus were of the Delta lineage.

“The vast majority of the severe illnesses have been in unvaccinated people. We are finding that this variant is especially adept at spreading in close groups of unvaccinated people,” Minter said. “Although it appears that our vaccines are holding up very well, while transmission rates are low, as the transmission rates increase, especially with this contagious variant, new data will learn whether they still hold up or whether they might not be quite as protected with the higher transmission rates.”

George said the Delta variant is putting the entire community in jeopardy and how the county has to take action now because of how contagious the variant is found to be. He said it is highly recommended to wear masks indoors and people will be asked but noted that it is not a mandate.

Fort Bend County Risk Management Loss Control Manager JT Pena said signs will be going up around the county to encourage residents to wear their masks and protect themselves.

Judge George noted that the county has seen a spike in numbers when it comes to adults being infected with COVID-19 and encouraged eligible adults to get vaccinated. He said the county will reach out to those who have some hesitancy to get the vaccine and provide information that will help them.

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