On Feb. 3, the City of Lubbock hosted their weekly virtual news conference where public officials discussed the current state of the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as the current progress on the City’s vaccine distribution.
Katherine Wells, director of public health for the City of Lubbock, said that the number of cases in Lubbock has been going down considerably for the past few weeks.
“Our case numbers continue to be low, and for the second week in a row, we are seeing our new case counts continue to hover around that 100 mark,” Wells said.
Wells said that the number of people hospitalized due to COVID-19 is also decreasing, and the number is now below the 15 percent threshold. Additionally, the number of people vaccinated continues to increase.
“This is all good news, but remember, we cannot let our guard down,” Wells said.
Regarding how some pharmacies in Lubbock are now starting to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, Wells said these pharmacies have to strictly follow the requirements and supervision of authorities, similarly to how the process is carried out at the Civic Center.
“Getting a vaccine at CVS or any pharmacies will be the same as at the Civic Center, everybody gets treated the same, and with the same requirements,” Wells said.
Dr. Ron Cook, a public health authority, said that he is happy to see the number of cases in Lubbock has gone down, and would like to thank all citizens for doing their part in fighting against the pandemic. However, he also said that there is still a lot to be done.
“Continue to wear your mask and socially distance, even if you had the vaccine. You must continue until we have herd immunity at 70 to 80 percent,” Cook said.
Cook said in the conference that before achieving herd immunity, social distancing and avoiding large group gatherings is very important to make sure the virus does not spread. Parties should be small and within families, and food should be served with tongs to make sure to reduce the spread of the virus.
When asked how fast the Texas can progress with the current phase of vaccination until it reaches Phase 2, Cook said it is possible to reach it in around six weeks, in early to middle spring.
“That remains to be determined by the CDC and the State of Texas’ Department of State Health Services,” Cook said.
Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope said that they received 8,000 doses of the vaccine this week.
“I believe we received that because we’ve successfully shown that if we get a vaccine, we will make sure it’ll go to somebody’s arm that week,” Pope said.
With some bars and restaurants operating with no mask regulations and social distancing, the Mayor said despite not having an oversight, they are working closely with Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the Lubbock Police and the Sheriff’s Office.
“We do work with those bars and restaurant owners to remind them of the government’s order, to provide them with any support we can, but we don’t have people outside watching those lines and telling people what to do,” Pope said.
The current vaccination for all people belonging to category 1A and 1B of the vaccination process is still available, and people can be registered on the vaccination website. All inquiries and information regarding the pandemic and vaccination process can be found on the City of Lubbock’s website at https://ci.lubbock.tx.us/.