Texas sees highest 7-day COVID positivity rate: ER doctor says ‘we’re not seeing signs’ of surge ending
Texas reports highest 7-day COVID-19 positivity rate since pandemic started
Texas ER Dr. Natasha Kathuria offers insight on the latest numbers on ‘Fox & Friends.’
As the U.S. surpasses 5 million coronavirus cases, awaits a vaccine and debates sending kids back to schools, Texas emergency room physician Dr. Natasha Kathuria told "Fox & Friends" her state might see another surge in cases.
With the Lone Star State recording its highest seven-day positivity rate since the pandemic began, the Austin-based doctor says hospitals are at about 80 percent capacity in the big cities as Texas surpasses 500,000 positive cases and more than 8,800 deaths, the Houston Chronicle reports.
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"We've seen this wave hit Texas pretty hard, and we're holding steady right now. We've seen a slow decrease in hospitalizations, but our death counts are still up there," Kathuria, Global Outreach Doctors board member, told co-host Ainsley Earhardt.
"We're wondering if we might see another bump right now," she added. "We're really hoping that we're not going to, and we're really hoping this wave sweeps through Texas soon and we'll be over it but we're not really seeing signs of that with these increased cases right now."
Earhardt asked about reopening schools in the fall as a new report found more than 97,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks of July.
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"I can guarantee that number is actually much higher," Kathuria said of cases in youth. "We don't really test kids that often. They're usually asymptomatic, they have very mild symptoms, but they're still shedding this virus, so that is going to artificially be low no matter how good we are about testing right now."
But the doctor is worried that sending kids to schools and sending them home could affect parents and grandparents who go to work and travel, which could worsen the spread.
As health officials prepare for a vaccine, Kathuria said, "our biggest concern is 'are people actually going to get the vaccine?'"
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Instead of just focusing on a vaccine, she believes the focus should be on prevention.
"We have the PCR test, we have the antibody test, but we need better rapid, at-home testing available where someone can just take it like a pregnancy test and we have the technology for it," Kathuria said. "We just need to push for it and lower our restrictions on different testing methods and not set the bar so high so that we can really control this. Our best armor for this is prevention right now."