Waco, TX- The Waco- McLennan County Public Health District is encouraging the community to wear a mask whether vaccinated or unvaccinated.
Waco- McLennan County is now considered a “high risk” or “substantial risk” area of COVID-19 community transmission- averaging 112 cases a day.
Health Director LaShonda Malrey- Horne says they are encouraging the community to wear mask again.
“Now those that are fully vaccinated; whether you are vaccinated or not are encouraged to wear mask,” Horne said.
According to the CDC people in counties of high risk are also encouraged to wear mask indoors regardless of vaccination status.
“42.5 percent of people over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated from COVID- 19,” Horne said. “That’s below the state average, and much less than the national average so we still have a lot of work to do.”
With many children returning to school health officials say each school district makes it’s own judgment for COVID-19 protocols while taking cues from the TEA.
“We’ll keep working with our schools as long as they want us to offer vaccination clinics,” Horne said. “Any support that they need from us we’ll be providing.”
The increase of COVID-19 cases is also increasing hospitalizations for the community, and with limited ICU bed availability Horne emphasized why it’s doubly concerning.
“All those ICU beds aren’t taken up by COVID patients,” Horne said. That’s ICU beds that may also be full of people from other chronic conditions, but yes we are at a point where our hospitals are pretty full right now.”
With no signs of the virus going away any time soon the health district urges the community to use the vaccine as a preventative medicine against it.
“If you are out and about in the community wear a mask, and make sure you remember to wash our hands,” Horne said.
The health district is still offering vaccines Monday through Friday from 8 A.M to 4:30 P.M . Walk-ins and appointments are welcome. To learn more visit COVIDWACO.