According to the most recent data from the CDC, an omicron sub-variant called XBB.1.5 is responsible for 41% of cases in the country as we see a spike in COVID-19 cases after the holiday season. Data from the Texas Department of Health shows more than 1,000 people have been hospitalized in North Texas for the first time since February 2022.
In late December 2022, global concern over a new surge in COVID-19 cases in China led many countries to request COVID tests from travelers arriving from the eastern country.
Dr. Shang-Lu Liu, who studies viruses at Ohio State University, said AP News that the BF.7 variant is believed to be the driving force behind the current wave of cases in China. While the new surge that China is now experiencing may be the result of a different option than the XBB.1.5 that the CDC has recorded in America, experts are concerned that China is not sharing information quickly enough.
“Currently, the pandemic situation in China is not transparent,” Wang Pi-Sheng, head of the Taiwan Epidemic Control Center, told The Associated Press. “We have a very limited understanding of this information and it’s not very accurate.”
In North Texas, according to the WFAA Trauma Service Area E, which includes 19 counties including Collin County, there are now an average of 766 hospitalizations in a 14-day period.
The two counties with the most reported deaths are Tarrant with 31, exceeding the February 2022 spike of 12 deaths, and Dallas County with 42.
In December, data from the Texas Department of Health showed 9 new COVID-related deaths in Collin County, approaching the latest peak in February 2022 when the rate was averaging 7 deaths per day.
At a time when hospitals are experiencing high demand due to multiple concurrent respiratory illnesses, care must be taken. Tarrant County Public Health is recommending that residents wear masks again as community levels of COVID-19 have changed to high.