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COVID numbers continue to rise, vaccine arriving next week

By Dawn Burleigh

Numbers for this week for COVID show an increase of active cases by 262 from the previous week. Currently, 1175 persons are considered active COVID cases. Of those, 388 are confirmed cases and 787 are probable cases. Last week, there were 913 active cases.

The number of recovered cases shows a discrepancy in the numbers as this week it shows 2641 are recovered, yet last week the number was 2652. The difference is 11 persons less this week have recovered compared to the week before.

The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus has decreased from 19, down to eight.

The number of patients on a ventilator due to the virus also decreased from two to zero.

The grand total of cases of COVID-19 since March 2020 is now 3861, in increase of 251 from the previous week.

Governor Greg Abbott, on Tuesday, announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made an initial allotment of over 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to the State of Texas for the month of December. These vaccines, which should begin arriving in Texas the week of December 14, will be distributed to qualifying providers across the state who will administer these immunizations based on the Vaccine Distribution Principles developed by the state’s Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel. Additional allotments may be made later this month for December. Also, increased allotments are expected in January and the following months.

“The State of Texas is already prepared for the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine, and will swiftly distribute these vaccines to Texans who voluntarily choose to be immunized,” Abbott said. “As we await the first shipment of these vaccines, we will work with communities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

The Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE) released the following statement concerning the vaccines:

The availability of a COVID-19 vaccine is welcome news. Vaccine access should make it easier for Texas public schools to resume normal operations, including the necessary step of getting students and educators physically back into their classrooms, sooner rather than later. As ATPE has repeatedly expressed, remote schooling is a poor substitute for in-person instruction, and the many reports we have heard of students struggling under this school year’s myriad disruptions are troubling.

ATPE understands some Texans will be hesitant to seek out the COVID-19 vaccine, while others are eager to obtain the additional protection as soon as possible. We also know that it will likely be some time before the vaccine becomes widely available. However, Texas public schools are the backbones of our communities and vital to the economic success of our great state, and early access to the COVID-19 vaccine will allow educators a chance to return to work without fear of the virus that has wreaked havoc upon all of our lives.

As we learn more about the vaccines up for approval, ATPE urges state and federal officials to share information clearly and widely about any COVID-19 vaccines that become available. Texans deserve to know what options are available to them, the risks and benefits of vaccination, when and how they may obtain a vaccine, and what to expect.