The third day this week marked another rise in COVID-19 cases across Texas, including here in Kerr County, where hospitalizations doubled overnight.
Peterson Regional Medical Center reported seven people hospitalized on Wednesday morning with COVID-19. Six people tested positive through Peterson Health, just two vaccinated. This week, 22 people have tested positive — 4 vaccinated.
On Tuesday, public health officials said more than 75% of the nation's new COVID-19 cases were the omicron variant, and Texas posted its third consecutive day of 10,000 confirmed or probable cases. Hospitalizations also rose to more than 3,300, including more than 1,000 in intensive care.
The good news at Peterson Regional Medical Center, no one was in intensive care, but all seven patients were unvaccinated.
In the Texas Department of State Health Services San Antonio Region, which includes Kerr County, 210 people were hospitalized, including nearly half in intensive care. The region also had eight children hospitalized.
The Dallas Morning News reported Texas Gov. Greg Abbott would not consider introducing any mandates related to the virus. https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2021/12/21/as-texas-preps-for-omicron-variant-threat-gov-greg-abbott-wont-ease-stance-against-mask-mandates/
In a forecast model by the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Texas could fare better than other states when it comes to the impact of the variant on hospitalizations — suggesting the hospitalizations will not be as severe as the delta variant. That doesn't mean there won't be widespread cases or deaths from the variant, but it's a bit of good news. https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/texas?view=resource-use&tab=trend&resource=all_beds
In other coronavirus-related news:
- The Food and Drug Administration said it approved a pill that can help stop COVID-19. The antiviral Paxlovid, which Pfizer makes, is said to reduce the virus's severity. Read more here: reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/pfizer-oral-covid-19-pill-gets-us-authorization-at-home-use-2021-12-22/
- Texas A&M won't play in the Dec. 31 Gator Bowl because it doesn't have enough healthy players — thanks to COVID-19. The Aggies were set to play Wake Forest in the Jacksonville, Fla. game. Read more: https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/texas-a-m-out-of-gator-bowl-vs-wake-forest-due-to-covid-19-issues-within-aggies-program/
- Johns Hopkins professor Yascha Mounk writes in the Atlantic: "The appetite for shutdowns or other large-scale social interventions simply isn't there. This means that we have effectively given up on "slowing the spread" or "flattening the curve." To a much greater degree than during previous waves, we have quietly decided to throw up our hands." Read more of the essay here: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/12/omicron-end-of-pandemic/621089/
- The severity of omicron in South Africa appears to be waning, where it was first detected: More from Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/safrica-study-suggests-lower-risk-hospitalisation-with-omicron-versus-delta-2021-12-22/