Waco-McLennan County Public Health District discusses possible rise in COVID-19 cases

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WACO, Texas – As President Joe Biden announced the country has vaccinated 200 million people against COVID-19, the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District held a meeting to discuss how the county is currently handling the virus.

“The number of cases we have seen each day has increased by 22 percent. This week we had an average of 28 cases per day, compared to 23 weeks ago,” says Vaidehi Shah, Lead Epidemiologist.

COVID cases are increasing in McLennan County, and in other parts of the country.

“This is in line with increases we have seen other parts of the country, and we can attribute them to the early lifting of restrictions, or also to the increase of variants in the population,” says Shah.

The number of COVID-related deaths has dropped dramatically.

“We have seen only two deaths reported in the month of April, and the last time we saw a number that low was in May 2020,” says Shah.

The McLennan County Public Health District attributes the drop to the COVID-19 vaccine. President Biden announced on Wednesday that the country has reached the 200 million vaccination goal.

“We are on Week 16 of our mass vaccination campaign, and we have done a little over 42,000 doses of vaccine through our hub clinic efforts,” says Stephanie Alvey, Preparedness Coordinator.

Now the county is transitioning away from mass vaccinations.

“We were doing 1,500 to 2,000, and some weeks we hit almost 3,000 doses in a single day to a smaller footprint with the support of national guard staffing,” says Alvey.

Officials believe this is great news, but there is still work to be done.

“We have some reason to be hopeful. But at the same time, until more of the population has been vaccinated, we need to continue to use prevention strategies to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community,” says Shah.

The UK variant of the virus has also been reported in the United States – and while there have only been four cases here in McLennan County, the rest of the country hasn’t been as lucky.

The UK variant is causing 44 percent of all of the cases in the United States.

To learn more about the virus and its variants, you can click here.

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