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East Texas Covid Cases Soar Among Persons 11 To 20 Years Old

Courtesy: NET Public Health

MORE YOUNGER PEOPLE INFECTED - Like the rest of the country,  coronavirus infection rates in East Texas have surged over the Summer  and although health officials say there are signs of a downward trend,  Covid-19 infection among persons  11 to 20 years of age living  in and around Smith County Texas is soaring.   Northeast Texas Public Health officials gave an update to the Tyler City Council yesterday afternoon during their regular session.    Northeast Texas Public Health District CEO George Roberts  explained  that even though overall infection rates began to drop in the spring, it was a different story by mid summer.  

“We’ve experienced our highest levels since we first announced the first COVID-19 cases in this room on March 13, 2020”, Roberts said.

"We've experienced our highest levels since we first announced the first COVID-19 cases in this room on March 13, 2020," George Roberts, CEO for Northeast Texas Public Health District

Credit Courtesy: City of Tyler
Courtesy: City of Tyler
George Roberts, CEO for NET Public Health

Roberts  went  on  to say  that  persons  11 to 20-years-of age  are  among the highest number of COVID-19  related cases,  and while those who are older are still dying at higher rates, more younger people are getting seriously ill from the virus.   Smith  County  Public Health Authority Dr. Paul McGaha  summarized the data.

"The moral of that story is that we're seeing more (Covid) hospitalizations of younger people," McGaha said.

Smith County health officials have urged all citizens to follow NET Health’s resolution announced earlier this month recommending mask-wearing in schools and in public places,  social distancing and vaccinations. The vast majority of those hospitalized in East Texas are unvaccinated.  

Credit Courtesy: City of Tyler
Courtesy: City of Tyler
Dr. Paul McGaha, Public Health Authority for Smith County

"My message today is get vaccinated and do it as soon as possible," Roberts said.

In Texas, the Department of State Health Services reports 70 % of the Texas population  12 years of age and older are vaccinated with at least one dose, with  60% of that group are fully vaccinated.  In Smith County – 54% of the same  age group  have gotten one dose and 46%  are fully vaccinated.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.