WACO, Texas — Citing a significant rise in COVID-19 cases, the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District announced it will be reinstating its daily case count and statistics dashboard.
The health district said COVID-19 cases are five times higher than they were a month ago, according to a post on their social media page. Kelly Craine, the public health information specialist for the district said it’s important to increase vaccinations.
“We’re at a very mediocre level. We only have 41% of our county fully vaccinated, and that really is a concern,” Craine said.
She added that both state and national vaccinations are both over 50%, while local rates lag.
“We need to have more people protected," she said.
The quest to keep as many people safe from coronavirus is a goal across the country as the contagious delta variant spreads from coast to coast.
“It is the dominant strain in the country, so it’s reasonable to believe the delta variant is dominant here in McLennan County and throughout Texas,” she said.
Craine also said the elderly population has embraced the vaccine and are taking care of themselves. The focus is now on children age 12 and older and adults as the school year approaches.
“We need to get our younger groups. So younger means everyone age 12 to 64 is in need of vaccination,” Craine said. “We’re really lagging behind in the entire adult population.”
Craine said they health district has been working with local schools and universities to provide vaccine clinics and information to students and communities. Craine said vaccinated people can encourage their unvaccinated loved ones and friends to get protected.
She also encouraged unvaccinated people to talk with their doctor.
“For anyone that’s on the fence, it’s not for them and for their health condition, talk to your doctor,” Craine said. “You’re doctor is the quarterback of your football team. You’re the coach, so work with your doctor to make sure you’re doing the right thing for your health.”
Another recommendation aimed to improve everyone’s health is for people to wear their masks in public places, like grocery stores.
“With our unvaccinated groups in many ways this is like riding in a car without a seatbelt. You are not safe. There is real danger," she said. "There is real risk for serious life-threatening complications and of course that includes death, unfortunately.”