COVID Hospitalizations in McLennan County Are Up With A Drop In Daily Cases
As of January 27th, the website covidwaco.com reported 487 new COVID 19 cases in McLennan County with 171 patients in the hospital and 29 of those on a ventilator. There have been 784 deaths to date from COVID.
Executive Director of the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, LaShonda Malrey Horne says it’s too early to tell if we are on the downside of the Omicron outbreak.
“What we do know for sure is that our case counts are coming down, and we are seeing fewer cases on the daily basis, but our hospitalizations are still a little bit up.”
Dr. Felicia Macik is a direct primary care physician in Waco, and says that we are in the middle of upper respiratory infection season. Some people are suffering from allergies, others the flu, but it’s mostly COVID.
“But I would say that it’s probably it’s maybe two thirds COVID, and one third general respiratory viruses that are non-specific, with a few flus sprinkled in.
In the past, one of the symptoms of COVID has been a lack of smell or taste. Dr. Macik says that with Omicron, that is not really the case.
“And so, I started picking up on the fact that with Omicron we were getting gastro-intestinal involvement, where we weren’t seeing that so much in Delta and the Alpha variant.”
Even though the vaccine does not guarantee that you will not catch COVID. Malrey Horne says getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others. 53 percent of the population in McLennan County five years or older have been fully vaccinated. She also says there has been an increase in the Hispanic and African American communities getting the vaccine.
“But we are also making sure we’re targeting our more rural parts of the county, and making sure people that may have ideologies that don’t align with vaccinations understand exactly what the vaccines are, the benefits of getting vaccinated, as well as making opportunities available to get vaccinated.”
Malrey Horne says that people need to remember to cover their sneeze and cough, wear a mask in public, and wash your hands with soap and water often. Also, if you are unable to wash your hands, be sure to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and most of all…
“Don’t go to work or school knowing that you don’t feel well. Stay home until you can get tested, for either the flu or COVID-19 to make sure you don’t cause other people that you work with, or go to school with to become ill.”
Testing sites are open daily at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church as well as McLennan Community College. More information and details are available online at covidwaco.com.