HOUSTON — KHOU 11 News is closely tracking which communities are doing best and worst in this latest COVID-19 delta variant surge to give you a good idea of where most community spread is happening.
It's all tied to how many people are choosing to get vaccinated.
"If you're unvaccinated, you're at risk," said Dr. James McDeavitt, Executive VP and Dean of Clinical Affairs at Baylor College of Medicine. "The numbers don't lie. When cases go up, that's bad and when they go down, it's good. It's not rocket science."
Two weeks since KHOU 11 first analyzed 151 Harris and Montgomery County ZIP codes, 77303 in Conroe remains the worst. On Aug. 9, it had 9.7 active cases per 1,000 residents. Today it's nearly 16 (15.9). That's a 64-percent increase.
33.4 percent of people are now fully vaccinated there. It's one of the smallest vaccination increases, just 1.9 percent points compared to earlier this month.
"When you have everyone unvaccinated and introduce the virus, it spreads like wildfire," Dr. McDeavitt said.
Check your ZIP code
New Caney now makes the top five worst COVID ZIP code list. 77357 has a whopping 17.2 active cases per 1,000 residents and it saw a 2.5 percent point increase in vaccinations. That's above average for this area.
And for the first time, two Houston area ZIP codes cracked the top five worst. 77078 has nearly 17 (16.9) active cases per 1,000 people. 77016 is even worse with nearly 18 (17.9).
Less than 46 percent of these ZIP codes are fully vaxxed.
But in the heart of Houston near Discovery Green, there is some good news.
77010 is now the best performing COVID ZIP code locally with only 4.5 active cases per 1,000 residents. And per the state health department, all of their eligible population has been fully vaccinated.
"It's natural to see exactly what you're seeing," Dr. McDeavitt said. "In areas of low vaccination, you'll have high spread, and in areas of high vaccination, you'll have low spread."
To be clear, the data show active cases have increased everywhere in the last two weeks, but it's where more shots are going into arms that the virus is most under control.
Top 5 Worst COVID ZIP Codes:
1) 77303 - Conroe
2) 77306 - Conroe
3) 77357 - New Caney
4) 77302 - Conroe
Tied for 5) 77078 & 77016 - Houston
Top 5 Best COVID ZIP Codes
1) 77010 - Houston
2) 77024 - Houston
3) 77094 - Houston
4) 77056 - Houston
5) 77005 - Houston