HOUSTON — It's been nearly two weeks since Thanksgiving and COVID-19 is raging through the United States.
"This is the scariest time in our epidemic," infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Hotez said.
It took just five days for the country to record another million coronavirus cases and Texas is fueling the rampant rise.
"I will assume that everybody walking past me or near me has COVID-19," Hotez said.
Hotez said if you leave your home, it's critical you wear a mask. On Sunday, Harris County and Houston reported a combined 2,338 new cases nearly breaking another single-day record.
The Houston area is responsible for more than 25% of Texas' 8,436 new cases reported Sunday. What's even more troubling is that the City of Houston has now eclipsed 100,000 COVID-19 infections.
"We already have a surge," Hotez said. "If you look at the numbers in Texas and nationally we're in a dire situation."
Nearly 9,000 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Texas alone.
"People are coming in sicker than they were in the past," Hotez said. "That gives me a lot of concern that people aren't taking this seriously."
Hotez said things will get worse before they get better.
"This is going to be a very grim next couple months, unfortunately," Hotez said. "These next two months is when the loss of life will be at its maximum."
The virus could kill 10,000 to 15,000 more Texans could be dead by Feb. 1 so Hotez and other public health officials are urging folks to not let their guard down as a new week begins.
"This is a tough time, the key is not to lose your mother, father, brother or sister when we know if get them to the other side we can get them vaccinated," Hotez said.