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COVID cases skyrocket in Wichita County

The health district reported that there have been 371 new cases, 60 people are in the hospital and eight have died since last Friday
Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 10:56 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Wichita Falls - Wichita County Public Health District experts and city of Wichita Falls officials continue to work together monitoring and reporting all things related to COVID-19. As cases continue to rise, deaths are on the increase as well in Wichita County.

Staff with the health district reported Wednesday that there have been 371 new COVID-19 cases, 60 people are in the hospital and eight have died. That is just since last Friday.

“The case numbers have grown so much to go back to daily reporting because of these numbers of cases and the number of deaths that’s what’s one of the most concerning things to us it’s daunting,” said Amy Fagan, Assistant Director of Wichita County Public Health District.

Between those eight COVID-19 deaths in Wichita County, the youngest victim was in their 20s and the oldest in their 80s.

“It used to be five percent or 10 percent of the new cases were in vaccinated individuals and now it’s about 20 percent of new cases are in vaccinated individuals,” said Fagan.

Skyrocketing numbers that come across the Fagan’s desk everyday. Number she hopes they may be fought off against with booster shots. For individuals who are identified as immunodeficient.

“There’s talk on the horizon for those who are not in those categories to also be able to receive a third dose or booster dose in the coming months, so that to me is very hopeful. It’s just like the flu vaccine, it’s something we know your immunity wanes over time,” said Fagan.

While the health district has already expanded their contact tracers to 12, Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said he’s not ready to enforce a mask mandate.

“What will be interesting to see is how entities that passed a mask order, if the courts overturn all of those and tell them they can’t do the mask, why would I take the time of our legal staff and everybody to go in and do that, so we’re going to wait,” said Gossom.

But he’s hoping those higher up in the state, like Governor Greg Abbott, will change their mind.

“He is facing COVID himself right now, so it should be an interesting twist in his mind. He was at an event where there were very few masks, I hope we don’t see something that makes us feel that but if the situation got bad enough, I probably would cross the line and may need to do it,” said Gossom.

United Regional officials said they have 65 positive COVID patients right now and are operating at full capacity in their critical care unit. They have also expanded patients into their surgical recovery unit.

Maybe the most disheartening news is they are turning away critical care patients, all because staffing issues.

The Wichita County Public Health District will be now offering booster shots for Moderna and Pfizer vaccines during their weekly vaccine clinics starting Aug. 19. To find out how to register and more information visit their website.

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