Texas Department of State Health Services discuss COVID-19, latest data

TEXAS – The Texas Department of State Health Services discussed the coronavirus and the latest data.

Dr. Jennifer Shuford, chief state epidemiologist and Dr. Saroj Rai, the senior scientific advisor, joined the conversation.

DSHS officials are tracking Texas’s current situation by new cases per day, new fatalities and vaccination rate. Officials said they have seen an increase in cases and an overwhelming impact on its data charts.

The charts have shown that Texas’ hospitalizations are up 49% due to the rise of the Delta variant, which is impacting more than 70% of Americans. Officials said the good news is, they have seen an increase in vaccinations over the past month and hope that trend continues.

Shuford said the sharp rise in hospitalizations is due to the Delta variant and encouraged residents to continue to get vaccinated and receive their second dose to help fight against the new variant. She emphasized the importance of the second dose of the vaccine because it provides full protection compared to those who have no been vaccinated.

Shuford also asked the unvaccinated to continue to wear masks, including children ages 2 and older. She said fully vaccinated people should also follow the new CDC guideline on wearing a mask when out in public or crowded areas where the transmission rate may be higher.

Rai and Shuford answered several questions asked by the community.

KPRC 2 pressed for answers on breakthrough cases and found out that not much is being done to track breakthrough cases unless the patient ends up in the hospital.

“We have different ways of getting information about breakthrough cases, what we’re asking our local public health departments to do though is report to us -- cases in their jurisdictions where they know somebody who is either hospitalized or died of COVID-19 that was vaccinated,” Shuford said.

The video of the full discussion is posted below:

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