Tyler health officials say COVID-19 numbers are decreasing, warn people to keep taking precautions


TYLER, Texas (KETK) – At a meeting Wednesday, the Tyler City Council met with local health officials to discuss the decreasing COVID-19 numbers in East Texas.

According to NET Health CEO George Roberts, the number of hospitalizations and the number of daily positive cases is going down.

Roberts said the numbers show an encouraging trend in the area.

“We’re seeing positive trends,” Roberts said. “We’re vaccinating a lot of people, so things are moving in the right direction. We’ve experienced a lot of ups and downs in this pandemic, as all of you are aware.”

Though the numbers show light at the end of the tunnel, he said it is still important to be cautious.

“We really need to keep in mind that while we may be really tired of this virus, the virus is not quite tired of us yet,” Roberts said.

To help avoid the virus, Roberts said it’s still important to stay home if you’re sick, avoid large crowds and gatherings, social distance, decrease the number of places you go out, wear a mask in public and wash your hands often.

“For these strategies to work and have an impact, we have to remember that this is a team sport right now,” Roberts said.

Even as the second round of second doses go out at Tyler vaccine hubs, many are still waiting on the chance to receive a first dose. NET Health reported today that there were 148 new cases in Smith County on Wednesday, and 18,099 total cases.

“By now we’ve all been touched personally by this virus,” Roberts said. “We’ve had family and friends who have tested positive for COVID-19, and unfortunately, we know people and even family members who have passed away from this disease.”

Smith County Health Authority Dr. Paul McGaha said vaccine waiting lists are still extensive.

“They are long, too long,” McGaha said. “The advent of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the middle of March should help with that, but they are very long still.”

When enough vaccines come in, people in Phase 1C will be able to get vaccinated. According to McGaha, that phase includes anyone the state considers essential workers.

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