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COVID cases trickling as doctors urge vaccination

April 13, 2022 - 05:00
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The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 27 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Bandera County have occurred since March 11, and Bandera County Emergency Management officials note that multiple days went by during that time period with no new cases reported.

These numbers differ from the statewide increase in new COVID-19 cases last week. However, statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped to the lowest level in months.

Despite the local COVID-19 case numbers, local doctors such as Dr. Saleh Jaafar, volunteer Medical Director for the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic and Internal Medicine Specialist at Bandera Family Practice Clinic, are urging vaccination.

“Please get vaccinated to protect our elderly and the immune deficient population in Bandera,” said Jaafar. “Remember that even the weakest strain that won't affect you personally can kill your grandma or grandpa.”

Jaafar’s concern stems from BA.2, a new COVID-19 that has become the dominant strain worldwide and accounts for the majority of new cases.

Health officials say the strain is more transmissible but generally has less severe symptoms.

DSHS adds vaccination and boosters continue to be the best protection against COVID-19. The organization says unvaccinated Texans are eight times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 and 42 times more likely to die of a COVID-19-associated illness.

DSHS says 52.25 percent of the population has been vaccinated with at least one dose, with 45.72 percent of that same age group being fully vaccinated.

With ages 65 and up, 70.34 percent have received at least one dose and 62.48 percent are fully vaccinated

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 76 deaths in Bandera County from COVID-19, according to DSHS. Eleven of those deaths were reported this year. Statewide, DSHS reports 87.801 deaths.