ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – COVID-19 cases are increasing in East Texas as the omicron variant is making more people sick across the country.
In December of 2020, nearly 5,700 positive cases of COVID-19 were reported in Angelina County. On Monday, that number climbed to more than 14,000.
Last December, Angelina County was seeing on average 80 positive cases per day. Now, the number is down to about 10 cases per day.
The worst numbers could be seen when the delta variant arrived in East Texas over the summer. This is when Angelina County started seeing on average about 100 cases daily. Since October, numbers have continued to improve.
But, health experts say that COVID-19 and its various variants are unpredictable and it is difficult to determine what will happen in 2022.
“But we still would expect the peak to be January 10th somewhere around there. We will see how it plays out. But, there are a lot of mitigating factors that just make a prediction hard,” said Russell Hopkins, NET Health Director of Disease Surveillance
On Monday, the state of Texas announced five of its regional infusion centers have run out of the only monoclonal antibody treatment known to be effective against omicron. This does not apply to antibody centers in East Texas, but there is a national shortage.
They won’t get another shipment from the federal government until January.
Also in 2022, there will be two drugs on the market to help people fight COVID-19 at home. These are Pfizer’s antiviral pill and a new medication from Merck. Initial supplies of the drug are expected to be limited.
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