From personnel reports
For national media companies, concerns about the Omicron variant of COVID-19 dominate the headlines in connection with the pandemic as Christmas Day looms on the horizon.
Caldwell County’s top officials said the variant of COVID-19, which reportedly accounts for the largest percentage of new cases, has yet to break its limits, describing the number of new weekly cases in the county as “very low” Calls returned to the Lockhart Post – Tuesday registration.
“The week before last, we had 26 confirmed cases that week for that period,” said Caldwell County Judge Hoppy Haden. “We went through 1 to 25 cases per week throughout the downturn. When it starts shooting, it goes fast and gets 100 or more a week.
“We’ll keep an eye on it. At the moment we have not sent any requests for vaccination sites to the Texas Department of Emergency Management because vaccines are readily available and free to the public (in many locations). We didn’t set up free test sites as there hasn’t been a huge increase. If we see a big spike, TDEM will bring the (military operated sites) back to life. “
Haden said there had been a new COVID-19 case at a Caldwell County nursing home but had not been informed whether the case was a different one.
The allegedly low case numbers are reflected in an apparent lack of urgency on the Caldwell County’s Office of Emergency Management’s COVID-19 page, which was last updated in July on Tuesday.
“We didn’t release a lot of information because there weren’t any questions,” said Hector Rangel, director of business continuity for Caldwell County Day. “People don’t call … not even after Thanksgiving. There are cases down here in Caldwell County and I think it’s because of (vaccinations). “
Caldwell County’s vaccination rate is higher than many rural counties, but is below the state average of 60.52 percent. In Caldwell County, 54.25 percent of citizens 5 and older were fully vaccinated by Tuesday night.
According to the CDC, 61.6 percent of the US population is fully vaccinated. Approximately 62.2 million people in the United States have received a booster vaccination. Of the fully vaccinated adults aged 18 and over, 33 percent received a booster vaccination.
No information is available on the state’s website about the percentage of citizens who received a booster vaccination, which is widely believed to be the key to minimizing the risk of developing serious COVID-related illness.
As of March 2020, there have been 7,393 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Caldwell County. During this time, 156 died of a COVID-related illness.
The Omicron variant is the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the United States, accounting for more than 73 percent of new COVID-19 cases last week, according to data released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the World Health Organization, the Omicron variant has been confirmed in 106 countries.
The US reported its first Omicron fatality this week. The deceased was a Texan in his fifties who lived in Harris County.
President Joe Biden called a press conference Tuesday where he gave a speech on Omicron and answered questions from media representatives.
Biden assured Americans that the state of the pandemic is “absolutely not” returning to the March 2020 situation.
“Another question people are asking is, are we going back to March 2020?” Biden said when speaking at the White House. “The answer is absolutely no. No.”
More than 200 million Americans are fully vaccinated compared to March 2020 when no Americans were vaccinated, Biden noted.
Biden said there were enough clothes, masks, ventilators and other supplies. Biden also said protocols have developed in schools that will help keep them open.
“Do you know this is not March 2020,” he added. “Were prepared. We know more. We just have to stay focused.”
Biden said fully vaccinated people who followed the precautions could safely celebrate the holidays with friends and family – especially if they had received a booster vaccination.
“If you have been vaccinated and are taking the precautions we know, you should feel comfortable celebrating the Christmas holidays the way you planned them. They know you did the right thing. Enjoy the Christmas season, ”said Biden. “The answer is simple: get your booster shot. Wear a mask. Our doctors made it clear that booster vaccinations offer the strongest protection. Unfortunately, we still have tens of millions of people eligible for the booster who have not yet received them. “
Biden also announced an expansion of rapid home testing to combat the surge in new cases.
The president said the federal government will buy 500 million rapid Covid-19 tests at home and plans to distribute them free to Americans who request them through a website.
The new tests will be made available and mailed to Americans next month, he said.
Biden said that starting next month, private insurance will cover home testing so you can get reimbursed for those orders. There are additional plans to offer testing to those who are not insured.