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.
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.
"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.