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Health officials sound alarm as COVID cases rise in Texarkana, warn public to get vaccinated

Texas

TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KSHV) — Health officials are sounding the alarm after COVID cases are back on the rise in Bowie County and the Texarkana area.

According to the Bowie-Texarkana Joint Operations Center, hospitalizations due to COVID are also increasing, and available resources to care for COVID patients are critically low.

Locally, Texas DSHS reports a total of 5,324 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases and 2,581 probable cases with 227 deaths.

The Department of State Health Services is reporting 135 active cases currently in Bowie County, which is 87 more positive cases than were actively being monitored at the end of April when the EOC last sent an update.

Local Health Authority Dr. Matt Young said, “It is imperative, now more than ever, that the residents of Bowie County and the Texarkana region seek out a COVID vaccine. We are seeing sick patients come through the clinic and emergency rooms at an alarming rate, and most of them are unvaccinated. This new Delta variant is moving quickly through our area and affecting younger populations more acutely. Now is the time to remain vigilant and keep fighting this disease.”

CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System’s acting Chief Medical Officer, Mike Finley, underscores the need for the community to be vaccinated.

Finley said, “With the number of COVID-19 cases continuing to climb in our community and recent increases in hospitalizations for COVID positive patients, we want to encourage area residents to take advantage of the opportunity to receive COVID vaccine. These vaccines are a powerful tool in combating the spread of COVID-19.”

Wadley Regional Medical Center has seen the effects of the disease ramping back up in the Texarkana area as well.

Director of Marketing and Planning for Wadley Regional Medical Center Shelby Brown said, “We are committed to providing care to all in need, but the continued increase in cases can put a strain on the healthcare system. We strongly encourage people in our community to be vaccinated to protect themselves and each other. Wadley continues to require masks while in our hospital and limit visitors so to encourage social distancing.”

According to the Texas DSHS website, only 28.76% of individuals over the age of 12 in Bowie County are fully vaccinated. Compared to the state of Texas, that is significantly worse than the overall 59.02% of Texans who are vaccinated.

The Texarkana-Bowie County Family Health Center will hold a vaccination clinic from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Thursday, July 22 at 902 W. 12th St. The vaccine is free, and no pre-registration is required.

You will also have a choice between Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Transportation is being provided for this event by the Arktex Council of Governments and can be requested by calling (866) 575-9014.

CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System will provide free, single-dose COVID-19 vaccinations to anyone age 18 or older through the Spirit of St. Michael Mobile Unit staff.

The Spirit of St. Michael staff can schedule visits to businesses/industry sites and can also provide home visits for those unable to travel.

For additional information, or to schedule a site visit, contact the Spirit of St. Michael at (903) 748-8573 for information or any questions.

Local COVID-19 data regarding infection rates can be found at https://txdshs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/dashboards/ed483ecd702b4298ab01e8b9cafc8b83.

Vaccination rates can be found at https://tabexternal.dshs.texas.gov/t/THD/views/COVID-19VaccineinTexasDashboard/Summary?%3Aorigin=card_share_link&%3Aembed=y&%3AisGuestRedirectFromVizportal=y.

To locate a vaccine site nearby, visit https://www.vaccines.gov/.

While local officials continue to monitor case counts and stay updated on CDC guidelines, people are encouraged to follow the advice of their primary care doctor and stay current on recommendations from the CDC for ways to stay healthy: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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