With delta variant spreading, Texas hospitalizations increases to levels not seen since March

Hospitalizations and the state's positivity rate, which measures how prevalent the virus is in Texas, have both increased to levels not seen since the spring. This indicates the highly transmissible delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading rampantly among the unvaccinated.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending vaccinated people start masking up again in indoor public spaces in "areas with substantial and high transmission." And some of the state's largest counties are also asking everyone to wear masks again.

RELATED: This Houston hospital is reporting 500% increase in COVID admissions as fear of surge increases

Meanwhile, 43% of all Texans are fully vaccinated, but the number of vaccines administered has been declining each month since April. New data released by DSHS shows 99.5% of COVID-related deaths in Texas were unvaccinated people between Feb. 8 and July 14.

Everyone age 12 and older is eligible for the vaccine in Texas, regardless of occupation or health status.

Only the Pfizer vaccine is available to people ages 12 to 17.

Federal health officials said people who are fully vaccinated can stop wearing masks and social distancing in most indoor and outdoor settings. Texas public schools and government entities can no longer require masks, Abbott announced in May. But some medically vulnerable residents feel left behind as the state returns to normal.

This story comes from our ABC13 partners at The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans - and engages with them - about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

CDC COVID-19 Transmission Levels by U.S. County


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