Is the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic over?
New models show the delta surge seems to be peaking and case numbers are on track to dip between now and spring.
The COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Hub combined more than nine different mathematical models from different research groups to get an outlook for the pandemic for the next six months.
UNT Health Science Center's Dr. Rajesh Nandy, Associate Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, makes similar models for North Texas and says the trend coincides with what is happening locally.
The latest news from around North Texas.
The risk pool, which is the group of people who aren't vaccinated or have never been infected, is the smallest it's ever been, at 20% of the population.
It's primarily made up of children, which means getting them vaccinated, if and when a shot is authorized for 12 and under, will be crucial in closing the gap.
"If we can vaccinate a significant percentage of that population, that age group, that would probably push us to 90%, which could be very close to herd immunity for the community," said Dr. Nandy.
However, he said forecasters can't predict human behavior and whether changes from masks to no masks or declines in vaccination rates will keep the door open to a new, more infectious, variants.
He's cautiously optimistic.
"I'm not suggesting people be stuck at home. I want people going on with normal activities but taking appropriate precautions, and that cannot hurt us, even in the best-case scenario," said Nandy.