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Local surge of cases are challenged by the Tax-Free weekend

Posted at 8:18 AM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 09:18:38-04

BRAZOS VALLEY — While we thought we were in the clear a surge of COVID cases has returned. How will large shopping festivities like the tax-free weekend impact this increase?

The Brazos County Health District's latest updates say the local positivity rate is at about 8%, but masks remain unable to be required.

According to the CDC, a recent surge of cases was caused by large public gatherings. Many of these positive cases were found in individuals who were fully vaccinated. But Dr. Jason Mcknight would like to reiterate the two main purposes for the vaccine were to prevent hospitalization and deaths.

The CDC numbers show 45% of the 12 and older population is fully vaccinated in Brazos County.

Health experts say the delta variant is highly transmissible and while only a few cases were reported by the health district. Local health experts say these new cases could very well be the delta variant.

“With the tax-free weekend you know activities going on and stores likely to be more crowded I definitely think there’s a high risk for there to be more cases and possibly contribute to the current surge that’s going on,” said Dr. Jason McKnight, primary care and population health expert.

According to health physicians from Signature Emergency Center in Bryan-College Station, they’re currently witnessing a surge and believe this will be here for the next three weeks.

Local health experts are either on-call or have their hands tied because of the current surge of cases.

Officials in major cities have increased their threat level. The Brazos County Health District is tracking a rise in new cases daily. Health experts on the front lines say the local transmission rate is close to an uncontrollable level. Doctors continue to advise the public to wear masks and get vaccinated.

"We know that these things work, and these can decrease transmission and it's irresponsible it's a threat to the health of Texans and is completely against science and public health knowledge," Dr. McKnight added.

The health district's latest update is tracking 14% of covid hospitalizations.