Texas sees big jump in hospitalizations as almost 1 in 4 Covid-19 tests are positive
AUSTIN, Texas — The highly contagious Omicron variant has led to a surge in Texas coronavirus cases. Almost one in four of the Covid-19 tests reported to the state in the last week were positive.
Demand is soaring for at-home tests, making Omicron’s spread harder to track. The state’s health service department also warned earlier this week that five of its regional infusion centers have run out of the only antibody treatment known to be effective against the new variant.
Experts fear that the state’s health care system could be overwhelmed within weeks, placing a renewed burden on burned-out workers. The number of hospitals reporting full ICU units has started to increase again after dropping since August.
The state’s Covid-19 mental health support line has seen a spike in calls in December as omicron exacerbates pandemic mental health concerns. Uninsured Texans are particularly vulnerable to another Covid-19 wave.
Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is maintaining a hands-off approach to the pandemic. “We’re moving forward with life as we know it,” Abbott said just before Christmas.
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