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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

COVID-19 cases increase in Texas

DJ Ross

Four months after the Central for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared the end of the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), a recent spike of COVID-19 cases have spread once again around the nation. 

According to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, the number of reported COVID-19 cases increased by 11% between Aug. 27-Sep. 5. 

Dr. Emilio Carranco, assistant vice president of Student Success and director of the University Health Services, said COVID-19 is a very contagious virus and with people gathering again, it has spiked.

“We are seeing people coming together for the beginning of the school year, ” Carranco said. “With the combination of the variant that’s circulating, this is causing the uptick in cases right now.”

Ava Rodriguez, a nursing sophomore, said that although she has not had any first hand experiences with COVID-19 recently, she has noticed the small change around campus and her daily life.

“I sometimes see people still wearing masks on campus, and a few days ago, I took my cat to the vet and the doctor was wearing a mask too, but he assured me it was not COVID,” Rodriguez said. 

According to Carranco, the current COVID-19 cases are presenting as common colds or the flu with symptoms such as scratchy throat, running nose, slight cough and body/headaches as indicators.

“You can spread [COVID-19] to a lot of people in a very short period of time, so it’s important to test if you have symptoms,” Carranco said. 

Brianna Martinez, a dance sophomore, said the way COVID-19 is seen today has changed from the way it was seen in the earlier years right after quarantine. 

“After [quarantine], going back to school was very scary. It almost felt like the plague and now it’s kind of normalized and seen more as a regular cold,” Martinez said. 

Rodriguez said people should continue to be wary when it comes to COVID-19 and illnesses even if the virus is not as worrisome as past years. 

Wearing face masks and washing your hands frequently are guidelines the CDC recommends taking to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 cases to rise. According to Carranco, one of the most effective ways to fight against the virus is by making sure to vaccinate. 

“There is no question that vaccines work and the COVID-19 vaccines are very effective,” Carranco said. “We’ve had over 1.1 million people die from COVID-19 and unfortunately a lot of those people died before effective vaccines and medication were available.”

Martinez said practicing safe distancing is one of the ways she continues to protect herself and others today. 

“Anytime I am in public I try not to be in close proximity to [strangers] because I don’t know their personal life and if they are sick or not,” Martinez said. 

According to Carranco, although Hays County and Texas State have all shown the same uptick in COVID-19 cases as the rest of the nation, the numbers are lower to those seen last September.

“It’s reassuring. People need to understand that we’re seeing an increase in cases, but nothing like what we were seeing in the pandemic,” Carranco said. 

The rise in COVID-19 cases might continue as time passes, but Carranco said this should not be a cause for concern to people. 

“Through vaccination and previous infection I think as a society we have developed a lot of immunity and we are now less likely to see serious consequences,” Carranco said. “So I think it’s a totally different environment today than it was three years ago and I don’t want anybody to be afraid, but I want people to pay attention.” 

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