TEXAS — Texas likely hasn’t seen the zenith of omicron-fueled COVID-19 spread but statistics released Monday by the state health department show just how out of control the situation has gotten.

What You Need To Know

  • Texas on Monday reported a total 7,015 Texans are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, which is more than double the number from just two weeks ago

  • Roughly a third of Texans tested for COVID-19 are currently coming back positive for the virus, state data indicates

  • The state on Monday additionally reported 51,481 new confirmed cases of the virus, but that’s due in part to a backlog created over the holiday weekend

  • The surge of cases and hospitalizations comes as Texas schools are grappling with the decision whether to return to in-person learning or limit to remote instruction for the time being

The Texas Department of State Health Services on Monday reported 7,015 current hospitalizations in the state for the virus. The Texas Tribune this week noted that’s more than double the number from just two weeks ago.

Of those currently hospitalized, 5,282 are in general hospital beds and 1,454 are in intensive care. A total 797 patients are currently on ventilators.

Alarmingly, 279 pediatric patients are now hospitalized with the virus in Texas. As recently as last Thursday that number was at 220.

Roughly 1 in 3 COVID tests in Texas are now coming back positive, state data indicates.

DSHS on Monday reported 51,481 new confirmed cases of COVID and 9,394 new probable cases, but that sky-high number can be attributed in part to a holiday backlog. Data hadn’t been updated since prior to the New Year’s holiday. In addition, 78 new deaths due to the virus were reported Monday.

The avalanche of cases and hospitalizations comes following the holidays and as Texas schools are beginning spring semester. Some schools are opting to return to in-person learning while others are staying virtual for the time being.

Despite the state’s opposition to mandates, doctors are recommending school districts keep mask mandates in place as more kids are hospitalized.

“I think right now is not the time to end mask mandates and for those school districts who let them fall by the wayside, to go ahead and pick them back up,” Dr. Mark Casanova, a member of the Texas Medical Association’s COVID-19 Task Force, told Capital Tonight’s Karina Kling this week. “Many of our youngest children have not been vaccinated or are not eligible to be vaccinated depending on the age cutoff. So it’s really important we do everything we can do protect those kiddos as well as the teachers and staff at schools, and the most effective way to do that short of vaccines is masking in schools.”