COVID-19 cases declining in Wichita County

Health officials believe the downward trend will continue
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 8:59 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Health officials believe the downward trend of new COVID cases will continue.

There is strong belief that the huge surges are in the rear view mirror and that we can expect new COVID cases to stay low, but health officials also said they believe COVID will stick around for quite some time.

“I think that what we will see is that it will become endemic,” Amy Fagan, Assistant Director of Health at the Wichita Falls - Wichita County Public Health District, said. “So it will just become kind of like what flu is now.”

New COVID cases in Wichita County have been steadily declining for about two weeks; hospitalizations and deaths have also been declining but not as quickly. Health officials believe the Delta surge is coming to an end and that it will be the last COVID surge.

“The surge that we saw with Delta has drastically decreased so I suspect Delta will still be with us,” Fagan said. “We are always looking to see with the virus changes what that means but for right now I think we are coming out of this wave.”

“We are reaching a saturation point in immunity both through natural risky immunity and vaccine induced immunity and that we will come down after the Delta surge and it will probably be the last surge,” Dr. Keith Williamson, Medical Director at MSU Texas, said.

Health officials said they expect a different holiday season this year compared to last year. With the amount of people vaccinated, they anticipate that even with many social gatherings to take place, fewer COVID cases will come out of it.

“One of the things I feel good about is in the last month alone we have had a nine percent increase in fully vaccinated people 12 and older,” Fagan said. “That is great, that is really great.”

Although health officials believe this could be the last COVID surge, they understand that viruses change and mutate so they are prepared for anything moving forward.

“I think it will become a seasonal illness after that,” Williamson said. “Historically pandemics kind of reach an equilibrium in about three years.”

“A virus changing is absolutely normal,” Fagan said. “We expect that because we have seen that with HIV, flu and H1N1. I anticipate that we will see it change. It is just how far ahead of the game we are and how much vaccines cover.”

Even though health officials believe this could be the last COVID surge, they still encourage everyone to get vaccinated, not only to stop the spread of COVID but to stay out of the hospital if you do get the virus.

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