DALLAS — After nearly a full year of talking about COVID-19 and the threats it continues to pose, health experts and government officials are warning Texans to fight their COVID fatigue and not tune out all the information at a time when cases are on the rise again.
But the most recent numbers suggest that might be exactly what people are doing.
There are now more than 19,000 COVID-19 deaths recorded in the state of Texas and nearly 1 million confirmed cases.
Texas peaked at its worst back in June and July.
"If I could have done anything differently, it would have been to delay the opening of bars," Governor Greg Abbott said back on June 26. "In hindsight that should have been delayed, especially knowing how rapidly coronavirus could spread in the bar setting."
On July 15, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas peaked at 10,792 cases a day. Today, that number is back up into the 10,000 range again.
In July, we peaked at 278 deaths a day. That number came down, but it's climbing again, back up to 141 on Nov. 11.
"I know it is tough. Hey, I know people have COVID fatigue now," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said. "But this is a time when we have to come together as a community. It's up to all of us to flatten the curve."
Right now, El Paso, Lubbock, and Amarillo are struggling the most in Texas. Their COVID-19 rates remain well above the 15% hospitalization yardstick that, by order of Gov. Abbott, requires hospital regions to revert back to precautions like shuttering bars and restaurants.
The North Texas hospital region isn't that severe yet, although hospitalization rates, the number of COVID-19 patients taking up available hospital beds, are approaching that 15% mark too.
So, the plea again from health experts and elected officials is to fight through the COVID fatigue, fight through all that white noise and static and realize that COVID is still very much here.
"Look, we don't want an empty seat at the table next Thanksgiving because we didn't follow the protocols this Thanksgiving," Jenkins said. "But it really is up to all of you. You have the power to turn this around."