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McLennan County at 'Medium COVID-19 Community Level' as severe cases rise

According to the county's dashboard, there have been 385 new cases of COVID-19 this month.

MCLENNAN COUNTY, Texas — The video above reflects Wednesday, July 6 headlines.

McLennan County health officials announced Wednesday that the county is now at a "Medium COVID-19 Community Level."

A medium level means people with severe cases of COVID-19 are going up, which is causing impact on surrounding hospitals and medical facilities, according to the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District.

According to the county's dashboard, there have been 385 new cases of COVID-19 this month. Three people have also died from the coronavirus this month, per the dashboard.

The threshold for extreme risk is over two-hundred cases per One-hundred-thousand people.  As of today, McLennan County is at 186 - so it's close, but we're not there yet.

 Dr. Vaidehi Shah, the Senior Epidemiologist of the Waco-Mclennan Public Health district said the recent spike in cases is because of the Omicron variant and its sub-variants.

"My concern would be when we start seeing an increase in hospitalizations, and when it strains our healthcare system, is when as a society we need to be concerned," Dr. Shah said.

Dr. Shah added that within the last seven days, hospitalizations have risen, but not to an alarming amount.

She said she is hopeful the County will not reach a high community level.

Based on the state's dashboard, only 148 hospital beds are available in the county currently, as well as 21 ICU beds and 65 ventilators.

The CDC recommends the following for a "Medium Community Level":

  • If you are at high risk for severe illness or unvaccinated, wear a mask and take other precautions 
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines 
  • Get tested if you have symptoms 
  • Primary series vaccines for everyone ages 6 months and older, and COVID-19 boosters for everyone ages 5 years and older, if eligible
  • Ages 50 and over and some immunocompromised people can receive a second booster dose

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District has the COVID-19 vaccine available for ages 6 months and older. 

The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome. If you cannot leave your home, the Health District can visit you at home to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. For more information, click here.

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