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Officials: COVID-19 cases rising in Amarillo, expect rate to increase

As cases and rates increase, the Public Health Department encourages vaccination.
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 4:39 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - COVID-19 cases and positivity rates have been rising in Amarillo along with numbers across the state.

City of Amarillo Director of the Public Health Department Casie Stoughton said testing positivity rates have risen from five to 14 percent recently.

Still below state averages, Stoughton said Amarillo typically takes four to six weeks to catch up, and she expects numbers to continue rising.

Speaking about ways to limit the spread of the virus, Stoughton encouraged people to get vaccinated and boosted.

“Vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective,” Stoughton said.

Adding vaccines are now available for children six months and older, Stoughton added with the rising numbers, now is a good time to get the free medical treatment provided at the Public Health Departments.

“I know that in our family we’re looking forward to vaccinating our last family member who’s eligible for vaccine,” Stoughton said. “It’ll be great to have everyone in our family vaccinated.”

Evidence shows being vaccinated significantly decreases chances of hospitalization and death.

“Vaccines are certainly doing their job,” Stoughton said. “It’s kind of that great insurance policy against severe illness.”

Amarillo is currently 16 percent below the state average for people ages five and above for fully-vaccinated individuals.

Stoughton noted the current case count in Amarillo and across Texas is likely below the actual number due to people testing at home.

She encouraged people to report any positive home tests, so the department can better track the data.

“The more access we have, the better informed we are as a community,” Stoughton said.

To report a positive test or schedule a vaccination, visit amarilloalerts.com or call the Public Health Department.

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