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Delta Variant Is Making Up More Than 75% Of New COVID-19 Cases In Texas, Health Officials Say

A woman wears a protective mask.
Gabriel C. Pérez
A woman wears a protective mask during the Georgetown-To-Austin March & Rally For Democracy demonstration for voting rights protections on Saturday outside of the Texas Capitol.

The highly contagious delta variant is causing a rapid surge in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Texas.

Jennifer Shuford, chief state epidemiologist at the Texas Department of State Health Services, said preliminary data show the delta variant currently makes up more than 75% of new COVID cases in the state.

“What Texas is experiencing is similar to what’s happening across the United States,” she said.

Much like other states where the delta variant is surging, there has been in uptick in severe illness due to COVID here.

Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the agency, said that compared to just last week, new COVID cases are up 92% in Texas, hospitalizations are up 49% and fatalities are 15% higher.

“Those are all going in the wrong direction,” he said.

Shuford said COVID-19 has been rapidly spreading particularly among unvaccinated people. Because older populations have higher vaccination rates than younger people, she said the latter are seeing the highest spikes in infections right now.

“We do expect that more of these cases are going to be seen in younger individuals just because they don’t have that protection from being fully vaccinated,” Shuford said.

The good news, Van Deusen said, is that vaccinations have also started to pick up.

“We hit a low there after July 4 — about 44,000 daily doses — and that has gone up pretty steadily since to more than 75,000 as of yesterday,” he said.

State health officials are urging everyone who is eligible for the vaccine who hasn’t been vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Ashley Lopez covers politics and health care. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @AshLopezRadio.
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