COVID-19 hospitalizations in East Texas highest since March
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - For the first time since March, more than 100 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in the Tyler/Longview area this week.
Data from the Texas Department of State Health Services shows 104 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday in Tyler/Longview. These numbers have been rising steadily after hitting record low hospitalizations just two months ago. At the lowest point, 9 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on May 12, 13, and 14.
This increase is still far from the record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations that was set back on Sept. 8, 2021, when 822 people were hospitalized with the virus.
The Northeast Texas Public Health District compares this surge in positive cases to the surge at the beginning of this year when the omicron variant first hit East Texas.
“People were really, really sick. Comparison to current numbers is that it’s much similar in the case count, but in the presentation of illness, we’re getting a bit of a break that it’s not as severe,” Director of Public Health Emergency Preparedness Russell Hopkins said. The difference? “Hospitalizations are rising slower than the case rate rise, so that’s a good thing. It means that between natural infection and vaccine immunity that you have protected the medical infrastructure.”
Hopkins said cases have been rising in June and July because of the B-4 and B-5 strains of the omicron variant. “The transmissibility. This particular variant omicron gets around immunities.”
According to Hopkins, some people are reporting mild symptoms for this strain, comparing it to a summer cold. These include allergy-like symptoms such as puffy eyes, a sore throat, and fever.
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