AUSTIN, Texas — According to Austin Public Health, COVID-19 hospitalization rates are rising in Texas. The 7-day moving average for hospitalizations since July 4 have increased over 203% from 63 to 202 hospitalizations on July 22.
An Austin woman who had a breakthrough case says she’s just glad she didn’t end up there.
“We both felt like our personal risk level was very low,” Anne Rettof said.
In June her and her partner went on a trip to Seattle.
With both of them being fully vaccinated, they thought they were in the clear from catching the virus.
“I got the positive test result saying, 'Yes, you did test positive for COVID,'” Retoff said.
Shortly after arriving back in Texas, she lost her sense of taste and smell.
“We're also seeing breakthrough infections in people that have been vaccinated,” Dr. David Lakey, a member of the TMA COVID-19 Task Force said.
Dr. Lakey says catching COVID after being fully vaccinated is still a possibility, the main difference being the seriousness of the case.
“The vaccine has been very effective at preventing severe disease related to COVID, severe disease being the disease that results in somebody being admitted to a hospital or into the ICU, or dying from it,” Dr. Lakey said.
According to Austin Public Health, COVID patients in local ICUs have increased nearly 242% from 24 people on July 4 to 82 people on July 22.
“I hate that once again we find our hospitals filling up. We wanted so much for this to be over. But once again, we must dig deep to protect our ICUs and our exhausted doctors and nurses and stop this delta variant. Please take the shot. After you are vaccinated, wearing a mask indoors is the least intrusive and most effective thing we can and must do to prevent further spread,” City of Austin Mayor Steve Adler said.
Retoff didn’t need to go to the hospital, and says she recovered fairly quickly.
“Thank goodness I did not get critically ill because of this,” Retoff said. "It's most likely because I had the antibodies in my system from the vaccine that prevented it from being something much worse.”
As the delta variant becomes dominant in the U.S., she now wonders if that’s what she got. Retoff reached out to the lab where her test was sent and has yet to hear back.
Dr. Lakey says even if it was, the vaccine still offers protection.
“The vaccines that we have are very effective at preventing severe disease, with the delta strain still 93% or more percent effective,” Dr. Lakey said.