Covid-19 infections rise in El Paso, equal year-long highs – Community News
Covid-19

Covid-19 infections rise in El Paso, equal year-long highs

EL PASO, Texas — About 600 additional Covid-19 cases reported Wednesday represented the highest number of cases in one day since January. Then Thursday’s caseload brought in another 510 cases, bringing the total number of active cases to 5,355.

El Paso has not had 5,000 or more active cases as of March this year, but Dr. Ogechika Alozie, ABC-7 medical officer and infectious disease expert, said Friday this week’s rising numbers don’t surprise him.

“Even if you consider that we’re at 90% (vaccination rate), that’s almost 100,000 people who still haven’t been vaccinated. That’s a lot of people who could get sick. SARS COVID 2 is going to do what it does, it’s going to find people – it will continue to spread and it doesn’t matter how many people you vaccinate in your community, it’s the percentage that don’t get vaccinated,” Alozie explained to ABC-7.

Alozie has spoken out about the recent rise in the number of cases, saying his first-hand experience with patients in intensive care has been heartbreaking.

“It’s really sad to see the faces of patients who have refused the vaccine, but now want another treatment to help them because they are getting more and more short of breath. It’s so avoidable.” Alozie said.

The increase in the number of cases is not exclusive to El Paso County as national averages are also increasing, but what many parents are concerned about is the number of pediatric cases. The El Paso Independent School District has reported 525 cases, of which 243 involve primary school age children. The county’s positivity rate is now 14% — a number the municipal health authority had wanted to avoid when it came to having kids in the classroom.

“The kids who go to school on average have the ability to protect themselves. The vaccine is approved. We have the highest percentage of pediatric Covid vaccines in the state, it’s twice the state average. So I really believe kids go to school.” they can go, they can soften, they can mask and most importantly — they can be vaccinated,” Alozie said.

The CDC and FDA on Friday approved the Covid-19 vaccine booster for all adults, and Alozie believes there are certain groups that could benefit the most. Among them are the elderly and people with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

“I think it’s hugely important that we need to remember the people who got the Johnson and Johnson (injection), I consider them unvaccinated from this point on. They need to go get that second shot, whether it’s Moderna or Pfizer is — and those who are older or sicker, I think it’s time they go get that booster,” Alozie admitted.

While the number of Covid-19 cases continues to rise, Alozie believes celebrating the holidays safely is still a realistic possibility.

“Right now everyone has to take their own responsibility into their own hands. Get vaccinated, wear a mask and participate in your life, and I think that should be the real tenant. We have the tools to beat this, people you just have to be smart about this,” Alozie stressed.

Follow this link for the latest on El Paso County’s Covid-19 data.


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