WACO, Texas – With the two year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic approaching, numbers continue to sky rocket due to the Omicron variant.

“It’s very discouraging to see the cases increase at the rate they are increasing,” LaShona Malrey-Horne said, the Director of the Waco-McLennan County Health District. “But we do as public health professionals understand how burnt out everyone is.”

Horne said this is just a continuation of the fight they’ve been in since 2020. The health district is seeing COVID-19 positivity rates that they have not seen before, partially due to the Omicron variant.

“To be honest, people are a little bit tired and have a bit of fatigue,” she said. “So we’re starting to encourage people again to do those basic mitigation efforts that they could do on their own to help decrease the spread.”

Based on the COVIDWACO website, the new case count has almost doubled since the last peak the county saw, which was in September.

Baylor Scott and White recently released a statement saying:

“This latest COVID-19 spike is putting extraordinary pressure on our hospitals, our emergency departments and our healthcare professionals. We ask those seeking covid-19 testing who are asymptomatic or who have mild symptoms to call 2-1-1, or visit 211texas.Org to find a testing site. Please help us reserve our emergency departments for those who are seriously ill or injured so that our hospitals are ready for those who need care most during this time.”

And many are struggling to find a place to get tested.

“If you can find a rapid test, that’s great, we encourage people not to go to the hospitals for testing or to the emergency rooms, come to a testing site,” Horne said. “If you know you are symptomatic and all your signs and symptoms line up with COVID-19, stay at home until you feel well. Don’t go back to work. Don’t go back to school.”

The Waco-McLennan County Health District have opened two testing sites, one at McLennan Community College and another at the Columbus Avenue Baptist Church. Each will have 500 tests per day for McLennan County residents.

But what does the future of the pandemic look like?

“We think that this will be a much faster peak than Delta, but that’s just based on the modeling that’s available, and it’s based on the information that we’ve received from the DSHS and CDC,” she said. “There’s no way for us to ensure that that will be the case.”