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You've probably see the number of national and statewide news stories about COVID rising in the last few weeks. The reason for that is because we are seeing a new surge in Texas, including here in Lubbock, but there is reason for optimism.

Lubbock's Director of Public Health, Katherine Wells, tells KFYO News that Lubbock is averaging about 150 cases a day though that number is likely underreported since many people are testing at home and those numbers aren't reported and included in the official count. Wells tells KFYO that the Health Department is keeping a close eye on hospital data and that there are between 30 and 50 patients in the hospitals in Lubbock on any given day which is really good news compared to previous increases in COVID numbers. In previous surges there were over 200 patients in local hospitals. Today's numbers are "manageable" for the local hospitals.

According to a report from KAMC, the BA.5 Omicron subvariant, now makes up the majority of cases in Lubbock. KAMC also reported that the Lubbock Health Department is paying attention to those high risk areas of the community.

“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.

The Lubbock Health Department recommends you stay home for five days if you test positive for COVID. The Health Department also said that close to 200,000 vaccines have been give out.

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