Local COVID cases decline by 95 percent in the last month in area county

COVID testing sites that had lines hours long just a month ago are mostly empty as cases wind down.
Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 6:44 PM CST
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(KWTX) - Across Central Texas, seven day new COVID case averages across Central Texas are down dramatically compared to a month ago, with Bell County reporting about 35 new cases a day down 95 percent from the 688 average reported a month ago.

In McLennan County, the seven-day-average sits at 132, about a 50% decline from this time last month. Its the highest in the area, likely due to more than 500 cases reported on February 15th. Since then, daily cases have been under 150.

“New cases of COVID, cases of COVID in the hospital and finally death rates from COVID are going down all together,” Dr. Winter with Baylor Scott and White explained.

COVID testing sites KWTX visited last month were mostly empty during a revisit Monday. Staff at the Richland Mall testing site, that once reported more than 7 hour daily wait times, tell us they now only see a handful of people come by a day.

Dr. Winter says as cases go down people should be more comfortable taking masks off in certain situations and returning to things they’ve put off during the pandemic, like travel.

He says vaccines however prove to still be a successful tool in fighting the virus, even the little that’s still sticking around.

He also says new treatments for COVID are in the works.

“First we have an antiviral drug that works well, we have two pills that work to fight COVID, there’s a monoclonal antibody that works well by Pfizer, and there’s a new one coming out by Lily that should be ready in the next month,” Winter said.

In Bell County, a new anti-body infusion center opened Friday, by doctor referral only.

Winter says even as the pandemic slows down we could still see new variants. The latest being the stealth variant.

“The stealth name came from the fact that when you do a standard test for variants you can’t tell the difference between omicron and the new stealth variant, it takes special testing that’s why they called it the stealth virus,” Winter explained.

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