According to the latest statistics compiled by the New York Times, Texas reports an average of 17,022 new cases of COVID 19 every day and an average of 164 Texas COVID deaths resulting from coronavirus-related complications. Thirteen thousand four hundred seventy-eight people on average are being hospitalized daily.
State health officials indicate that there’s a surge in the number of new infections in the state and have expressed concerns over the potential shortage of available intensive care beds if the current trend continues.
This article takes an in-depth look into Texas COVID cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and the growing infection trend for the state.
COVID Delta Variant in Texas
The number of new COVID-19 infections has been on the rise in the state and countrywide, mostly among individuals who have not been vaccinated. According to the CDC director, the COVID Delta variant has become the most prevalent strain of the virus, accounting for more than 83 percent of infections nationwide.
While the coronavirus continues to evolve into several new variants, the Delta strain is by far the most contagious of the lot. It is the driving factor behind the high Texas COVID hospitalizations witnessed in all parts of the state.
In early July, the positivity rate among state residents surpassed 10 percent for the first time since February this year. The risk-assessment map released by the Brown School of Public Health has designated Texas a “red zone” since the risk level has surpassed the threshold of 25 cases per 100,000 people.
Health officials have also expressed concerns that the stalled rates of vaccination in the state are a contributory factor to the upward Texas COVID trend. At the time of this publication, only 47 percent of the state population had been fully vaccinated, which is much lower than the national vaccination rate.
The Delta Variant – Background
Viruses constantly mutate, and the coronavirus is no different. Therefore, it is difficult to ascertain the precise number of variant strains out there both in Texas and worldwide. To check for a variant of the disease, healthcare professionals analyze random samples obtained from COVID-19 tests. As a result, it is possible for certain mutations to be missed since not all tests are analyzed.
Like with all viruses, some COVID variants persist while others eventually disappear. Only time will tell how the new strains will affect people and how many more dominant variants will emerge. The most effective way to prevent a virus from mutating is to curb its spread. This reduces its chances of morphing into something new.
The Delta strain of COVID-19 was first discovered in India, triggering a national health crisis in-country during the months of April and May. Since then, the variant has spread to more than 100 countries and has had devastating effects on regions with the lowest recorded vaccination rates.
COVID 19 Mask Mandate Texas
The Texas Department of State Health Services has advised state residents to protect themselves against the Delta variant of the coronavirus in the same way they do for other strains of COVID-19.
This means limiting social gatherings with individuals who don’t form part of your household, avoiding physical contact with other people, frequently washing your hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer in the absence of handwash, and wearing a well-fitted, multi-layered mask that covers both the nose and the mouth.
State health officials also advise people to steer clear of individuals who aren’t following the COVID-19 safety protocols issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For instance, on July 27, the agency recommended that people increase their use of masks in regions that have high reported rates of Delta variant infections.
The CDC has made it clear that these new guidelines apply to every individual whether or not they have been vaccinated. The World Health Organization has gone a step further to issue a recommendation that everyone should ensure they wear a mask while they’re indoors.
In recently updated guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the institution recommends that students aged two years and above and staff members should continue to have their masks on.
Texas COVID Restrictions Update
In the wake of the rising infection rates in the state, Gov. Greg Abbot has been unrelenting in his refusal to implement statewide restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Despite the Texas COVID hospitalizations reaching highs that haven’t been witnessed since February, the governor’s handbook appears to be focused on protecting the rights of those who have not been vaccinated.
In a recent statement to the press, Abbot reiterated that the time for government mandates in the state has long passed. He went on to announce a special legislative session to address several key issues, one of which included ensuring that children could resume learning in schools if they wish to, without any vaccination or mask requirements being imposed on them. This is contrary to the CDC’s updated guidance requiring universal masking while indoors – vaccinated or not.
Abbot stated in no uncertain terms that there would be no government-imposed lockdown in the state, nor would there be any masking mandates going forward. The governor instead shifted emphasis on personal responsibility for state residents to protect themselves against infection.
When Should You Go to the Hospital for COVID
The most common COVID-19 symptoms are coughing, fever, and trouble breathing. If your symptoms are mild, you can treat them at home, the same way you would a cold or the flu. The majority of infected persons achieve full recovery without ever having to set foot in a hospital.
On the other hand, if your condition deteriorates and you begin to experience trouble breathing, seek medical help as soon as possible. The healthcare workers will likely check your blood-oxygen levels, administer a COVID test, listen to your lungs, and do a CT scan or X-ray on your chest if required. If your condition gets worse, they may administer oxygen and fluids or put you on a ventilator in severe cases.
How to Get COVID Vaccine in Texas
All the brands of vaccines being administered in the United States are authorized for individuals aged 18 years and above. The Pfizer vaccine is suitable for anyone aged 12 years and above. The CDC recommends severely immune-compromised people to get a third dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.
Getting vaccinated is free. You don’t require health insurance to get the shot. Use the national vaccine finder to locate vaccines in your area or check your local pharmacy’s website to see if you need to make an appointment or if you can simply walk in the premises and get the shot.
You can also use the Texas Vaccine Scheduler to book a slot for vaccination at participating state public health facilities.
For more COVID-19 vaccine information, visit the Texas Department of State Health Services website.
Meanwhile, check out our blog to read about the worst hurricanes in Texas history.