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EXCLUSIVE: White House COVID Advisor says virus not 'going to go away anytime soon'

Posted at 7:48 PM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 20:48:39-04

WACO, Texas — COVID-19 cases are trending down nationwide and also in McLennan County, with the health department reporting an average of only 7 new cases per day.

"We weren't that low until June 2021, before Delta we were that low," Vaidehi Shah told 25 News. "Now we've reached this number, so it's really promising."

While those numbers are promising, health experts say COVID isn't "going to go away anytime soon."

Senior Advisor to the White House COVID response team Dr. Thomas Inglesbey said in an exclusive interview with 25 News it's still not time to let up on precautions.

"We need to be prepared for a potential surge or a new variant sometime this year," he said. "If you've been vaccinated and boosted, you'll be much better prepared and have a much lower risk."

Health experts credit the vaccines, masks, and social distancing for the low case count, which they say some people should continue for now.

"If someone is at high risk or if someone is meeting individuals that are high risk, then I would still recommend them to wear a mask, especially where they are going to meet people or be with people whose vaccination status they are not aware of," Shah said.

The number of people who've been vaccinated and boosted in the Waco area is much lower than the health department wants to see. They encourage everyone to get their shots as soon as possible.