As the Delta variant of coronavirus continues to spread in the United States, overwhelming the health care system, Dr. Marc Boom, the president and CEO of Houston Methodist, says there is one thing that would “dramatically” bring down the number of COVID-19 cases in just two weeks.
The dangerous surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are stretching health resources thin as many hospitals are grappling to meet the demand of patients who need crucial medical care. According to reports, daily new hospitalizations in the Texas Medical Center have gone up by 300 percent over the past month.
Talking about last summer, Boom said that time during the city’s second wave, cases went down rapidly once the state mask mandate went into place.
According to Boom, if everybody today acted like they did when that mask order was put into place last year, we could see improvements in 10 to 14 days. Amid the surge, doctors are encouraging vaccine-hesitant people to get inoculated and wear masks in public places, especially in areas where there’s a high transmission.
Aside from talking about what people can do to decrease the number of COVID-19 cases throughout Texas, Boom also said that although using masks and getting vaccinated is what the experts recommend in battling the virus, they are still unsure when things will peak.
“The best case models we’re seeing as a peak (are) within a couple of weeks, which will put a record number of patients in our hospitals, but not massively over our previous surges, but significantly over. Other models are well into the end of the month, into even the first half of September, in which case, we’re going to see dramatic new records,” he said.
Boom’s comments come as many officials in Texas have defied the mask mandate ban of Governor Greg Abbott. A lot of mask mandates were put in place this week in hopes of curbing the increase of COVID-19 cases throughout Texas. Abbott enforced the ban last month and shifted the responsibility to residents. The governor’s ban also imposed a $1,000 fine to those who will defy his orders.
It is unclear what Abbott will do regarding the officials who put mask mandates in place, but it is believed that the governor and the state of Texas will take the matter up to the Texas Supreme Court.