May 5, 2022 - COVID

CDC: Estimated COVID infections more than double official count

Data: Clarke, et al., 2022, "Seroprevalence of Infection-Induced SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies"; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Most Texans have probably had COVID-19, newly released CDC data suggests.

Driving the news: Immunity from prior infections and vaccinations has driven down hospitalizations in North Texas and statewide.

Details: The total estimated infections since the start of the pandemic in the state is a whopping 19.4 million — significantly higher than the state's roughly 6.5 million reported cases, according to the CDC study.

  • Nearly 70% of the state's population has likely had the coronavirus, based on an analysis of antibodies in blood samples, reports Axios' Nicole Cobler.
  • The number of infected Texans jumped dramatically during the Omicron surge. In January, the CDC estimated that nearly 53% of the state had been infected. As of Feb. 25 — the latest data available — that number had surged to nearly 70%.

Yes, but: The percentage of positive coronavirus tests has been ticking up since late March, when the statewide positivity rate dipped to about 2%.

  • The positivity rate is above 6% this week, according to statewide data.

By the numbers: More than 65% of eligible Texans are fully vaccinated.

  • Roughly a third of vaccinated Texans have received a booster dose.
  • Tarrant County lags Collin, Dallas and Denton counties in the percentage of people fully vaccinated, with 61%.
  • UT Southwestern projects Dallas County will continue to have about 100 new coronavirus cases a day during the next few weeks and predicts Tarrant County's daily cases will increase to about 200.

The big picture: FEMA has distributed $2.3 billion to pay for the funeral costs of more than 369,000 people nationwide who have died from COVID, according to the latest numbers released this week.

  • Texas has received the most federal assistance for funeral costs, with more than $217 million distributed to more than 33,000 people.
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