Nov 23, 2021 - COVID
COVID looms over Thanksgiving
Data: New York Times; Cartogram: Will Chase and Kavya Beheraj/Axios

COVID cases are up nationwide, and while Texas is doing better than many other states for now, the rolling seven-day average of new infections is slowly climbing again, according to state data.

Driving the news: Vanderbilt University Medical Center infectious disease expert William Schaffner had hoped COVID-19 would be under control by Thanksgiving 2021.

  • But "COVID, particularly this Delta variant, keeps throwing us curveballs," he told Axios Nashville.

Texas logged a daily average of roughly 3,296 cases, a 3% increase over the last two weeks, data from the New York Times shows. Travis County has seen a 27% increase in new cases over the last 14 days.

Yes, but: Texas COVID transmission rates vary greatly depending on the county: "A lot of the other states around the United States are now having this big surge of Delta," Jennifer Shuford, Texas DSHS chief epidemiologist, told KXAN. "But our entire state doesn't always have the same level of transmission going on."

The bottom line: Schaffner said vaccinations and booster shots are consistently the best weapon in the war against the coronavirus.

  • Schaffner advised people gathering with family to "travel with care" and be mindful of their loved ones' vaccination status.

"When family members are unvaccinated, I'm straightforward: Stay away," Schaffner says. "Blow them a kiss — don't give them a hug."

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that roughly 68% of Texans have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, and are not fully vaccinated.

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