COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to decline after the recent Omicron surge, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. As of February 21: the 7-day rolling COVID-19 case count average is approximately 5,500; there are roughly 5,100 coronavirus related hospitalizations and the state’s confirmed death toll stands at 82,435. 58.95% of all eligible Texans are fully vaccinated against the virus, and 21.30% of that number have received booster doses.
As of Monday, February 21, Kerr County reports seven virus-related hospitalizations at Peterson Regional Medical Center and 23 new, active cases. The county’s official virus-related death toll has increased to 169 since the pandemic began.
Similarly, Gillespie County is reflecting statewide COVID-19 trends and shows 2 hospitalizations at Hill Country Memorial Hospital and zero active cases within the Fredericksburg Independent School District. The county’s official death toll due to COVID-19 stands at 104.
As far as COVID-19 affecting the upcoming statewide elections, Governor Abbott finds himself above water in the polls, when it comes to his handling of the pandemic. According to fresh polling from the Texas Political Project at the University of Texas at Austin, of the 1,200 polled in early February, 45% said they approved of the governor’s job performance when it comes to the pandemic. 41% disapproved, but his approval jumped to 73% with Republicans only.
Regarding mask mandates, flight attendants want the federal government to extend the face mask requirements on commercial airplanes beyond next month’s expiration date, even with pressure growing against mask mandates on planes and in airports. Unions for flight attendants at American Airlines, United Airlines, and several regional carriers say it is not the appropriate time to drop mask rules, despite them “looking forward to a time when face coverings are no longer a requirement for air travel.”