Tyler-Longview area COVID-19 hospitalizations reach levels not seen since March
Health leaders urge East Texans to get vaccinated to protect against Delta variant
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Texas continues to see an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
According to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services, 5,391 new cases of the virus were confirmed as of Friday, July 23, with 53 newly reported fatalities.
When it comes to hospitalizations, 3,890 people were in Texas hospitals as of July 22 with the virus. In the Tyler-Longview area, 165 COVID-19 patients were reported to be hospitalized. That’s the highest that number has been since March 5. The reported number of hospitalized patients at the beginning of the week on Monday, July 19 was 132. This data is gathered from hospitals in the Tyler-Longview area, which is considered Trauma Service Area G by the Texas DSHS.
According to a spokeswoman for UT Health East Texas, their division’s COVID-19 test positivity rate was about 33% as of Thursday, July 22, a number not seen since the early months of 2021.
With numbers trending in the wrong direction, local and state health leaders are encouraging people to get vaccinated. They say it’s the best way to protect against severe illness and death.
“Previously we were talking about other public health measures. The main public health measure people can take right now is to get vaccinated,” said George Roberts with the Northeast Texas Public Health District in Tyler.
On Friday, the Texas Department of State Health Service released a video on social media showing Commissioner John Hellerstedt with an “urgent” warning for Texans about the “devastating consequences” that could come with the spike.
“These aggressive variants combined with the millions of Texans who have no protection against COVID-19 create the very real potential of the surge we are already beginning to see,” he said.
The state health department advised those still hesitant about getting the vaccine to talk with their doctor.
“Unvaccinated people are at the greatest risk from Delta,” said DSHS in a tweet. “The vaccine can protect you from hospitalization and death during this spike. We don’t need to lose any more Texans to this horrible disease.”
Copyright 2021 KLTV. All rights reserved.