BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has deemed Brazos County’s COVID-19 community level as “high risk”. This means that there are at least 200 positive cases per 100,000 people. The county’s case rate stands at 333.3, according to the CDC.
Mary Parrish with the Brazos County Health District said the rise in COVID cases was expected. The county reported 1,212 new positive COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, comparable to the number of case reported in January 2022.
“A lot of people have laxed up on preventing COVID,” Parrish said. “They’re not social distancing or wearing masks. They’re at more ease.”
Travel and inside events are also a factor, according to Dr. Clint Cheng with St. Joseph Health.
“People are packing in those airplanes and everything else and, honestly, life is returning to a relatively normal state at this point, which means lots of get-togethers,” Cheng said.
The rise in cases primarily comes from the Omicron variant’s subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, according to Parrish.
“Although these subvariants are much more contagious, they aren’t as deadly as we saw with Delta, thankfully,” Parrish said.
Parrish said there has also been a slow but steady spike in hospitalizations. She said this is being seen more among adults of all ages, but the cases are less severe.
“These hospitalizations have been short and not a lot of people have had to go on oxygen or ventilators, but it still is concerning that we are seeing this up rise,” Parrish said.
While these cases are mild, Cheng believes it’s important to remember that the pandemic is not a thing of the past. Both Cheng and Parrish encourage being vaccinated and getting a booster. Adults over 50 are encouraged to get a second booster, according to Cheng. Most COVID-19 travel restrictions have either loosened or been tossed altogether, it is important to note that cruise ships do require a negative COVID-19 test before boarding the boat.
“Try to stay away from the big group gatherings if possible right now, try to practice social distancing and masking, which I know all of us are tired of doing,” Cheng said.
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