“There is a slight increase in cases, but folks should not panic, but be watchful. Increases are expected given the increase in BA.2 prevalence and what we’re observing in the other regions,” said Dr. Steve Miff, President and CEO of Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation, a non-profit, data science, artificial intelligence and innovation organization affiliated with Parkland Health & Hospital System.
DAILY CASE NUMBERS ARE NOT THE BEST METRIC
Miff said public health leaders will closely watch key metrics but daily case numbers aren’t the best metric.
So many people test at home or don’t test at all so daily counts don’t give the most accurate picture.
How many people show up to the emergency departments with COVID-19 symptoms and how many end up hospitalized are better indicators.
“Those are hard numbers, those we know and we see on a regular basis. It’s also an indication of how severe the symptoms are for those who do end up being positive for COVID,” said Miff.
WHAT SHOULD NORTH TEXANS DO?
The answer depends your own risk factors and comfort level .
University of North Texas Health Science Center’s Dr. Shane Fernando, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics with training in epidemiology suggests keeping a supply of high-quality masks, having enough rapid tests for your family and if you qualify, get a fourth COVID-19 shot.
“Right now, those who are 50 and older, those who are 18 and above who are immune-compromised, etc, are eligible for the fourth shot, the second booster,” said Fernando. “This would give them additional protection over a course of a couple of weeks in order to make sure that they are best protected.”