As confirmed COVID-19 cases level off in Texas after weeks of decline, and increase nationwide, a new plan was revealed by President Biden on Thursday to freeze any potential winter surge.
"We're going to fight this with science and speed -- not chaos and confusion,” President Biden said.
Included in the plan: The cost of at-home tests will be reimbursable through private insurance starting next month, expanded access to boosters, and hundreds of family vaccination clinics.
“Whatever it takes for people to understand and say, ‘Hey, if I haven't received a vaccine I need to get it now,'” said Dr. Philip Huang, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services.
The latest news from around North Texas.
Right now, Dallas, Tarrant and Denton Counties trail Collin County when it comes to the percentage of people who are fully vaccinated, with 58%, 56%, 61% and 66%, respectively.
“The omicron strain of the variant is an important reminder for people that we can't let our guard down and we need to stay vigilant,” Dr. Huang said.
President Biden's plan includes a national campaign to reach the 100 million Americans eligible for boosters who have not had them.
Out of 34 million people vaccinated in Texas, fewer than 3 million have received a booster.
There are signs more people are rolling up their sleeves.
Dr. Huang says vaccinations reached about 15,000 last week, up from about 8,500 several weeks ago, a sign he said that continued efforts are still moving the needle.
“We're hoping this will continue,” he said.