Aug 14, 2023 - COVID

COVID-19 cases increasing in Texas

Illustration of a pattern of covid particles and positive signs turning into each other.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

COVID-19 cases are ticking up in Texas — though the overall number of cases remains well below what it was at the height of the pandemic.

Driving the news: EG.5, a descendant of Omicron, was named a variant of concern by the World Health Organization last week.

  • The new strain was responsible for an estimated 17.3% of COVID-19 cases nationwide from mid-July through Aug. 5, up from 7.5% through the first week of July, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Zoom in: Coronavirus cases reported in Texas increased nearly 24% in the week that ended Aug. 5, up from the previous week.

  • 11,826 new cases were reported statewide in the week that ended Aug. 5.
  • In Dallas County, there were 626 new cases reported last week, compared with 494 the week before. And there were 938 new cases reported in Tarrant County last week.

Yes, but: The federal public health emergency declaration for COVID-19 ended in May.

  • At that time, an Axios-Ipsos poll found that 62% of respondents agreed that the pandemic is over, compared to 46% when we asked the question in February.

What's next: The Food and Drug Administration recommended that boosters target new Omicron strains ahead of the fall.

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