AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The city of Amarillo is seeing an uptick in the new case average and the number of people coming to the testing site.

At the end of June, the city saw a new case average daily of five, and now that new case average daily is 19.
Casie Stoughton, director of the Amarillo Public Health Department added they have had 50 new cases since Monday.

Chief Medical Officer at Northwest Texas Hospital Dr. Brian Weis said you have to suspect that this increase does have to do with the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

“We obviously saw a lot of people gathering for the holiday which was great, but we certainly know the delta variant is in the community, we have detected several cases at Northwest and I know there have been several cases at Baptist Saint Anthony’s hospital. When we put people together in larger crowds without masks or spacing, we can anticipate it’s going to spread,” said Dr. Weis.

134,000 Moderna vaccines and 1,250 Pfizer vaccines have been given out in the city of Amarillo with 35% of Potter County vaccinated and 37% of Randall County vaccinated.

Dr. Weis said that number is disappointing as that is the ultimate defense against the virus.

“The vaccines are the answer, they are a way of preventing this guy from causing a surge again. So I really wish people would strongly consider getting the vaccine at this point since we might be facing wave number three unfortunately of a COVID-19 variant,” said Dr. Weis.

Stoughton and Dr. Weis said that the delta variant has been identified in local positives as well as several other variants being identified as well.

Dr. Weis said that they are ready at Northwest if another surge happens in the area, but he said he would be disappointed if it comes to that point as it forces the hospital to make difficult changes.

Stoughton added that there is one thing that protects those in the community from these variants and that can bring the area’s numbers back down.

“The key takeaway is a viruses number one job is to change and continue to live and they do that through change and if it’s able to do that person to person then those are good opportunities for that, so vaccinations are super important. And if you can’t be for whatever reason wear that mask when you are around other people,” said Stoughton.

Starting August 6th, the vaccine clinic at the Amarillo Civic Center will move to the Amarillo Public Health offices and will remain a walk-in clinic, and then starting August 23rd, it will become appointment-based.