WACO, Texas — New data shows when it comes to COVID-19 spread, sickness, and hospitalization, we are in the same spot as we were back in January.
Health leaders spoke out on Tuesday, saying if something doesn't change, it's just going to get worse for everyone.
It's like a broken record but experts said as hospitalizations continue to rise, and vaccinations barely increase, it's a recipe for disaster.
Health leaders say the third surge has a different trend.
Kelly Craine, spokesperson with the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, and Umad Ahmad with Baylor Scott & White said it comes down to age. People in the hospital are much younger. They agree it comes down to vaccinations.
"When we entered August, we were at 42 percent," Craine said. "We have jumped to 43 percent this month, but that is not enough."
Recently, the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine. It's emergency use was a big reason why some chose to not receive the vaccine.
According to the city of Waco, the area is seeing the same numbers we saw back in January, a graph reported deaths have also gone up consistently.
Monday, Aug. 23, McLennan County reported zero ICU beds, a similar sight we saw back during the holiday season. Ahmad said a majority of the patients in the hospital aren't vaccinated.
"Early July till now we have seen 600 more people in COVID numbers," Ahmad said.
Cities across the country like El Paso, Newark, and Chicago have reestablished COVID-19 restrictions, making some in Central Texas wonder will we follow suit?
Waco city leaders have also spoken out as cases surge. Mayor Dillon Meek is calling on everyone to get vaccinated.