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West Texas Town Hall: The Next Wave Of The COVID-19 Pandemic


Months after vaccines became more widely available, there’s a new wave of COVID-19 cases sweeping across the United States and Texas. That includes Lubbock, where in the past week, new cases have been confirmed at the highest rate since February.


We’re in a new phase of the pandemic, and whether you're vaccinated or nor, we all have a lot of questions about what exactly that means. Lubbock's Health Authority Dr. Ron Cook answered some of those during Texas Tech Public Media's recent West Texas Town Hall. Dr. Cook is also chief health officer at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and chair of the Department of Family Medicine.


Another 121 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Lubbock County Wednesday. That means there are almost 1,000 active cases that we know about. Many of those cases have been diagnosed in people under age 50. At this rate, Cook says he’s nervous about the next few months. 


For vaccinated people, Cook and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are now recommending wearing face masks indoors in crowded places. Vaccinated people can still catch COVID-19, but have a less than 1% chance of requiring hospitalization. 


For unvaccinated people, Cook says to get the safe shot as soon as possible. That seems to be happening. According to state data, there was an uptick in vaccine doses administered last week as Lubbock’s case numbers increased.


No matter your vaccination status, Cook said people of all ages should monitor for allergy and flu-like symptoms. If you're not feeling well, Cook said to stay home and get tested for COVID-19. 


Visit to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you. 


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