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Angelina County health district administrator discusses best line of defense against COVID-19 variants

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 4:46 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2021 at 10:17 PM CST
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ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - The Omicron variant is now in at least 17 states and the CDC said that number is likely to rise as more cases are discovered. Health District Administrator Sharon Shaw said as of Monday morning the Omicron COVID-19 variant has not been detected in Texas.

“More than likely it’s in Texas and probably even in the East Texas area with our proximity to Dallas and Houston. No worries, we need to remember to keep our handy mask,” Shaw said.

(Editor’s note: The omicron variant was reported to be in Texas later in the evening on Monday. Read more about that here.)

Shaw said a person’s best line of defense is to get vaccinated and to receive a booster shot after six months of the second vaccination.

“It’s still too soon to tell about omicron, if it will be more dangerous, or if it’s a variant that’s going to be less severe. Still not enough research has been done, not enough people have been sickened by it. They have not found it enough to really study those individuals,” Shaw said.

Shaw said Angelina County is nearing the 60 percent vaccinated mark. She said the health district vaccinates 30 to 40 adults daily, and about 20 kids ages 5 to 11 every day.

“We’re going to keep our fingers crossed and hope that omicron is just another Sars-CoV-2 infection. The runny nose, the cough, fever but not a severe illness like the delta. We are still dealing with delta. Delta is 99 percent of every case that we’re seeing,” Shaw said.

However Shaw said as of Monday, there was an uptick in regional COVID-19 numbers.

“We went from 300-something in the entire East Texas region in one week to over 1,200. So four times increase since Thanksgiving. We’re just entering that two-week mark,” Shaw said.

The COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots are available at most places with a pharmacy like CVS, Brookshire Brothers, and Walmart. The Angelina County and Cities Health District is offering all varieties of COVID-19 vaccines.

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