Brazos County Commissioners receive update on COVID-19 activity, rising cases in children

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 5:55 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Brazos County Commissioners received an update on COVID-19 activity Tuesday morning by the Brazos County Health District. Active COVID-19 cases have now surpassed 1,600 in Brazos County. The last time it was this high was back in January.

There were 158 new cases and another death reported by the health district Tuesday. The patient was in her 40′s.

Brazos County Health officials have concerns about our community’s vaccination rate as well as growing COVID cases in children who aren’t eligible for the vaccine.

“Kids from 5 to 11 can’t get vaccinated yet, there’s not a vaccine for that age group so that the increasing cases in the less than 18 is alarming for us at the health district and how do we mitigate that? We are recommending the use of masks, the social distancing, getting vaccinated,” said Santos Navarrette, Brazos County Health District Health Director.

Navarrette tells us they expect booster shots to be available this fall. Right now there aren’t plans to open a new hub.

“We’re looking at setting up drive-thru clinics throughout the Brazos County and the Brazos Valley in the future when these vaccines become available,” he said.

Doctors and health leaders are also worried about vaccine hesitancy.

About 50 percent of eligible Brazos County residents are vaccinated. For heard immunity, that number needs to be at 80 percent.

“The vaccine breakthrough infections occurred in only 2.5 percent of people who have been vaccinated,” said Dr. Yao Akpalu, Brazos County Health District Chief Epidemiologist.

“We’ve got to be able to do more than just the washing your hands and putting the mask on and social distancing... You need to keep you immune system up,” said Brazos County Judge Duane Peters. He shared his story about dealing with COVID but recovering in a short amount of time.

“If you’ve got the disease you need to be staying at home. I mean if you start showing symptoms you need to probably get tested and find out if you’ve got it and stay away from people. You need to stay at home,” Peters said.

In Commissioners Court, Constable Isaac Butler also spoke about having a united front by local governments and agencies, to get more people vaccinated.

“When the doctors and even the health district get up and explain the situation, we can see we all are on one page, then I think there would be more people taking the vaccine,” said Butler.

“We’re still seeing a lot of transmission for the virus in Texas and across the U.S. and again it’s the vaccination rates being around 50 percent or so. We need to get those vaccination rates up,” said Navarrette.

Here in Brazos County confirmed cases range in age from 10 days old to 97 years old.

The youngest fatality in the county was someone 21 years old.

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