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'Summer is not a good time' | Heat is up and COVID numbers are rising

According to wastewater, Houston's 14-day average COVID-19 positivity rate is up to 21.1%. Last week, the rate was 17.4%.

HOUSTON — When it comes to COVID-19 cases, the numbers aren't good, in fact, they're going in the wrong direction yet again, according to Harris County health officials.

"Summer is not a good time for us here in Texas and in the southern United States," said Dr. Peter Hotez with Baylor College of Medicine.

As temperatures rise and people look for ways to cool off, health officials are worried about a different kind of wave.

"Summer of 2020, that's when we had our first big wave," Hotez said. "And then we got hit again in 2021 and that was pretty devastating."

Houston's 14-day average COVID-19 positivity rate is up to 21.1%, according to our wastewater. Last week, the rate was 17.4%.

RELATED: COVID numbers continue to rise in Houston, wastewater shows

"Numbers are starting to go up again, but we have some problems in that so many people are doing home testing that we don't know what the real numbers are," Hotez said.

Dr. Esmaeil Porsa, President and CEO of Harris Health System, said testing wastewater is a good indicator.

"It has actually been proven to be very effective because you don't have to get tested," Porsa said.

The Houston Health Department wastewater virus load is 502%, which is up from 281% last week. Porsa said that while the latest variant (omicron) is extremely contagious, symptoms are mild.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK THE INTERACTIVE MAP THAT SHOWS THE WASTEWATER LEVELS IN HOUSTON

"I think everybody is letting their guard down," Porsa said.

Clyde Riggenbach is relying on his faith.

"We have to have hope and faith for all things," Riggenbach said. "It's a safe country as long as people are living like they're supposed to."

Hotez shares the same sentiment but hopes we'll learn from past mistakes.

"I think we're going to be in this pandemic for most of this year and the hope is that when we head into 2023, we do better," Hotez said.

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