The count of hospitalizations—which was as low as 78 on June 2—has reached 549 as of July 30, according to data from the Tarrant County Public Health Department.
The uptick in cases comes as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this week revised its guidance regarding vaccinated individuals wearing masks in some indoor settings.
In Tarrant County, data as of July 28 shows 55% of residents age 12 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which accounts for 45% of residents across all ages; and 48% percent of residents 12 and older are fully vaccinated, accounting for 39% of residents across all ages.
“The vaccines work great,” said Vinny Taneja, Tarrant County’s director of public health, while presenting to the Tarrant County Commissioners Court July 27. “We have just come up against [the delta] variant and all of these activities have happened. A lot of normalcy has occurred while there was still a lot of population that was not vaccinated.”
In response, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley suggested increased outreach efforts to community leaders—referencing church pastors, in particular—to help persuade vaccine-hesitant individuals who are suspicious of government officials.
The county judge also noted, in response to a question from Commissioner Roy Charles Brook about whether the county had any tools to combat the spike, that such tools are limited.
“We can’t do anything about masks, businesses ... about large gatherings,” Whitley said. “All we can do, basically, is ratchet down the occupancy requirements for businesses. ... [The spike] can get to whatever it gets, we’ve still got no tools.”
Taneja suggested residents, even those who are vaccinated, consider a “layered” approach to staying safe—that is, still distancing and wearing masks in certain situations—but ultimately said more residents getting vaccinated is the top priority.
“[Vaccinations are] the one tool we have that really works,” Taneja said.
For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine in Tarrant County, as well as on the county health department’s vaccination efforts, click here.