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Healthcare workers fear a winter COVID surge could be severe

“Unlike last year school is now in session," said one doctor worried that regular indoor gatherings of unvaccinated kids could fuel another surge.

SAN ANTONIO — This coronavirus pandemic is the worst crisis this nation has seen in terms of lives lost on our homeland. The virus has killed more Americans than any prior war or pandemic.

“The average person who gets COVID spreads it to 8 other people,” Dr. Robert Leverence, Chief Medical Officer for UT Health San Antonio physician practice said. 

Dr. Leverence sits on the county's COVID-19 taskforce and says if vaccine numbers don’t improve here locally, we could see another more severe surge during the upcoming winter season.

“Unlike last year school is now in session. So, we have mostly vulnerable unvaccinated children gathering indoors on a regular basis throughout this winter,” Dr. Leverence said.

The doctor also says it’s because this summer’s coronavirus surge was worse than before and came later than it did last year.

“In addition, each of the past 3 surges have brought our healthcare systems right to the brink of being overwhelmed,” Dr. Leverence said.

Dr. Leverence says in Texas during this current third surge, death rates got up to about 250 deaths per day

“That’s a severe surge. We would not want to see that repeated this winter,” Dr. Leverence said.

He says the good news is, if more people get vaccinated between now and then, fewer people face the possibility of facing death.

“We can still change that. We could blunt or avoid a winter surge,” Dr. Leverence said.