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Vast COVID-19 related lows recorded Sunday, Gov. Abbott thanks fellow Texans

Posted at 4:44 PM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 20:21:09-04

BRYAN, TEXAS  — It's been over a year since the state of Texas has seen no COVID-19 related deaths reported on a single day.

Fruits of diligent labor are making the difference as the Lone Star State's leader announced new lows from the pandemic Sunday via social media.

The tweet is making waves across Texas. Governor Greg Abbott took to Twitter to share the good news Sunday, as the state hit many COVID-related lows, including no COVID-19 deaths for the first time in 14 months.

Governor Abbott also highlighted other lows, such as the fewest number of COVID-19 cases in over 13 months, which made local health officials ecstatic.

"There has been a lot of efforts that have gone into both, protecting the community starting last March and then the vaccination effort that started in the early part of January. That has been a huge success and a big part in what we are seeing statewide," Chief Jim Stewart, the COVID-19 Vaccination Task Force Leader in Brazos County shared with KRHD.

Mary Parrish with the Brazos County Health District says seeing this '0' was the ideal goal all along.

"This progression can largely be attributed to COVID vaccinations and how many are stepping up and getting their vaccine. The more people we get vaccinated, the more our numbers are going to go down, the more our numbers go down, the more we get back to normal," Parrish, Administrative Assistant for Emergency Preparedness for the Brazos County Health District said.

The Governor's tweet also noted the lowest 7-day COVID-19 positivity rate and the lowest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in 11 months, which is quite the opposite from the scarce number of ICU beds available last year.

"Whether there is a pandemic going on or not, people are still going to need to go to the hospital, whether that is for car accidents, or heart attacks, or any other types of illnesses, that's why we wanted to stress early on keeping the curve down," Parrish added.

Parrish, who has tested positive for COVID-19 before, credits the vaccine for her symptoms not being worse than they were.

"My symptoms were incredibly mild. Just headache, fatigue, a little bit of a fever." Parrish said. "What we want to see is people vaccinated so that way if they do get COVID, it's mild and they stay out of the hospital and once they reach full immunity, we can hopefully see a lot more 0's across the board," she said.

Stewart credits vaccinations with the new wave of this pandemic tide.

"The people that have been vaccinated be it one time or both times or a single-dose, the odds of them ending up in the hospital is minuscule. I think that is what we are seeing. That is what we are seeing," Chief Stewart added.

Chief adds the lows aren't just statewide, he's also seeing promising numbers in Brazos County too. He says the number of people in the hospitals for COVID-19 related illnesses has consistently dropped.

"Almost every day I get a report from the Trauma Area Council and it shows the penetration or people in the hospital for COVID-19 related illnesses." He said. "At the end of December, it was over 15 percent... and now it's below 5%, well below 5%. I think the most recent one I got was below 4%, so that is marvelous news." Chief Stewart said.

The news of these lows came just days after the CDC announced fully vaccinated people can remove their face masks, in most pubic situations, if they choose.

However, this does not apply to non-vaccinated people as the CDC is still recommending for those individuals to remain masked in most public settings.

According to the Brazos County Health District, the Trauma Service Area Threshold is 3.92%. The District also reported 0 new COVID-19 deaths on May 17, while there have been 250 deaths total.