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Increase in coronavirus cases leaves Waco hospitals at capacity

Posted at 7:31 PM, Jan 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 20:31:53-05

WACO, TX — The COVID-19 positivity rate is at 22% in McLennan County, much higher than the state's 14%.

"Our local doctors continue to urge on the seriousness of this virus, and I urge our community to make wise decisions in the days ahead," said Waco Mayor Dillon Meek.

On Tuesday, a surge of 467 new cases of coronavirus infections were reported in McLennan County.

On top of that, hospitals are filling up as the number of people hospitalized by the virus has been increasing since November.

Hospitals have since canceled all elective surgeries.

"Those are people who are sitting at home who otherwise need a joint replaced. That's not happening. Have cataracts, that's not happening, and that will have a huge downstream effect," said Dr. Brian Becker with Family Medicine.

Over the weekend, the Waco-McLennan County Public Health Department received 1,500 shipments of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, but registration filled in less than 25 minutes.

"DSHS has committed to providing us with more vaccines. As a health district, we are preparing for the next round and the next vaccination clinic whenever we get those doses," explained Kelly Craine with the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District.

But as people in Central Texas are desperate for a vaccine, doctors urge people to wear their masks, even if they've been vaccinated.

"You are not immune for five weeks till after the first dose of vaccination. Do not stop the mask. Do not stop the practice," urged Dr. Umad Ahmad with Baylor Scott & White Health.

The City has released an online survey to help them gauge the need in the community.

If you would like a notification when the next shipment of vaccines arrive, text the word "Vaccine" to 22828.