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Has Brazos Valley overcome its 'third wave' of COVID-19? Local experts weigh in

Posted at 6:44 PM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 19:53:10-05

BRAZOS VALLEY, TX — COVID-19 has spiked in waves, resulting in the death of over 500,000 Americans. However, now, health officials are finally seeing a decrease of COVID-19 patients being admitted into hospitals.

Looking at the data provided by the CDC, the country has seen a notable turnaround in the daily COVID-19 hospitalization, dropping 15%.

But does this mean the third wave is actually over?

”In terms to the so-called third wave," said Dr. Jason McKnight, Primary family care physician and population health expert with Texas A&M., "I think what we are seeing is definitely a decline in cases at the current moment. Now, whether it’s truly over or not, I think is still yet to be seen,”

According to the Brazos County Health Department, total ICU bed occupancy is currently at 79%. These new declining numbers are showcasing the drop in patients that are seeking hospitalization. At least when compared to those who contracted the virus after the holidays, when occupancy was passing 130% incapacity.

“You know, there’s never going to be a period where the ICU occupancy is going to be very low," Dr. McKnight added. "But definitely, the fact that we're not at 125%, 130% capacity is a very good sign right now,”

Dr. McKnight shares, from experience, just how surprising the difference is between today and only a few months ago in the hospital he works in.

“I was most recently working in the hospital last week, I had the fewest number of cases on my census that I have had in months,” he shared.

Health experts are acknowledging the progress, but want to remind Texans to remain cautious as there are still cases out there and now other variants people must be aware of.

”Compared to back in January, we're in a much better spot," said Dr. Seth Sullivan, Infectious disease physician and Alternate health authority of Brazos County.

Brazos County confirmed 43 new cases on March 9. But things are moving in the right direction as Dr. Sullivan states, attributing the recent successes in controlling the virus with vaccinations.

“I do believe there’s a reason for optimism, were getting vaccines out, another vaccine has been now licensed," said Dr. Sullivan. "There has now certainly been a really strong demand for the vaccine, we're seeing right here in the Brazos Valley,”

The CDC has tracked a little over 27 million people who have received both doses of their vaccine. Also, they have provided some new guidance in response to data showing possible herd immunity and lower health risks among individuals who are vaccinated.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the south and west were the largest hit regions that have seen a dramatic decrease in hospital admissions of COVID-19 patients.