LUBBOCK, Texas- The latest Omicron subvariant, BA.5, now makes up the majority of COVID cases in Lubbock, the City’s Health Department said on Monday.
“We’ve given close to 200,000 vaccines in this community,” said Director of Public Health Katherine Wells.
And with the rise of BA.5, the department said it has seen more people coming in for vaccines– not just to the health department, but local doctors’ offices and pharmacies too.
University Medical Center said it has more COVID patients filling beds than in recent months, averaging 10-15 people over the course of a few weeks. When the virus was at it’s worst, UMC had 218 patients filling beds.
Meanwhile, the health department has paid close attention to high risk areas.
“If we see something in congregant living, a nursing home, [or] a day care, [we] follow up with those businesses to make sure they understand that COVID is in there- in that population- and be extra careful,” Wells said.
She added that vaccinated people may shrug off their symptoms, like a head cold, sore throat, and stuffy nose, if they are mild.
“That’s where it’s really been tricky. Those are people that I’ve seen test positive,” Wells explained.
If you test positive, the health department recommended you stay home for five days.
“And then from days six to 10, you could still be infected and transmit that virus to others. That’s where we recommend wearing a mask, limiting activity and [avoiding] high risk areas,” the director shared.
State health officials said 74% of Texas residents are vaccinated against the virus. If you’d like to learn more about getting free vaccines and COVID testing, visit the health department’s website here.