Harris County Sees an Uptick in COVID-19 Cases in Light of Emerging Omicron Subvariant
Health & Science

Harris County Sees an Uptick in COVID-19 Cases in Light of Emerging Omicron Subvariant

August 14 2023

COVID-19 may no longer be a national health emergency, but it remains a prevalent threat in our communities. In light of the recent uptick of COVID-19 cases this summer, Harris County Public Health (HCPH) reminds people to stay up to date with the COVID-19 vaccines and to test for the virus as needed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the EG.5 Omicron subvariant currently makes up the largest proportion of new COVID-19 infections across the country.  According to the CDC's most recent reporting period ending August 5, EG.5 accounted for 17.3% of COVID-19 cases nationwide, more than any other variant. The percentage total is a sharp increase from 1.1% of cases reported on May 27.  

“Although the national emergency response to COVID-19 has officially ended, the SARS-CoV-2 virus still remains a threat to our community, and new variants can emerge at any time,” said HCPH Local Health Authority Ericka Brown, MD, MBA, FACHE.  “We recommend that all people and their loved ones stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. Our health department provides the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine series and boosters for free to all eligible age groups. People can register online or call to schedule an appointment.”

People who have health insurance may contact their healthcare provider or pharmacy to get the latest COVID-19 booster. According to the CDC, everyone 6 years and older should get one updated Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of whether they’ve received any original COVID-19 vaccines. Visit CDC.gov for the latest information on staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines for all age groups.

EG.5 Omicron Subvariant and COVID-19 Hospital Admissions

The symptoms associated with the EG.5 subvariant are consistent with most COVID-19 symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions, like heart or lung disease, are at a higher risk of getting severe symptoms.

According to the CDC’s most recent data through July 29, the percentage of weekly hospitalizations in Harris County per 100,000 people due to COVID-19 has increased more than state and national rates. Harris County observed a 14.6% increase in COVID-19 hospital admissions from the previous week. Hospitalizations have increased by 12.5% nationally from the previous week; in Texas, they increased by 11%. 

To schedule a free COVID-19 vaccine appointment with HCPH, visit us online at vacstrac.hctx.net or call 832-927-8787.  If you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you can take the test for free by visiting covcheck.hctx.net or calling 832-927-7575

Source: HCPH

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