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Local health officials urge residents to stay safe from COVID during the holidays

Posted at 10:40 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 23:40:50-05

It’s the season of giving, but another COVID spike is a gift nobody wants.

“We’re probably due for another surge, if history repeats itself with this pandemic, probably in the next 30-60 days,” said Bell County Judge David Blackburn.

If it is anything like what we saw with Delta over the summer, it could be devastating.

“We saw lots of people getting sick, full hospitals and unfortunately some of our highest numbers of death for the entire pandemic was during December,” said Kelly Craine with the Waco-McLennan Public Health District.

Bell County Judge David Blackburn said they have seen a spike every five months during the pandemic.

However, now since more than 70 percent of residents over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated, the hospitalization rate is only around 3 percent.

He said the community needs to do their part to keep it that way.

“Our healthcare professionals are still working very hard. The holiday season magnifies that to some degree. What we don’t want to do is insert COVID back into that situation once again,” said Blackburn.

McLennan recorded its first case of the Omicron Variant only days ago. Kelly Craine said expect to see more cases, a lot more soon.

“With Delta, if you see an explosion of cases. It would take at least 3-5 days for that to happen with omicron it’s one to two days,” said Craine.

She said while it is not a reason to panic, but it is a reason to get tested, social distance and get vaccinated.

“We know that there will be breakthrough cases with omicron for the vaccine is the difference between having mild symptoms not losing your taste or sense of smell and being severely sick and possibly hospitalized.”