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COVID-19 cases are rising in the Permian Basin

Low vaccination rates and the delta variant are both factors.

MIDLAND, Texas — COVID-19 cases have spiked around the country, and Midland and Odessa are no exception. 

"Just as recently as the fourth of July we had four Covid patients in the hospital, as of today we have have 24, that's a 500% increase in 17 days," said Russell Meyers, CEO of Midland Health.

Vaccination rates are low in Midland County, with only 37.7 percent of the population being vaccinated, Ector County is slightly lower.

"We rank among the least vaccinated areas in the state," said Meyers.

The Delta variant of COVID-19 is highly transmissible and can cause severe side-effects. 

Local doctors believe that the vaccine will help these rates go down and fight against the delta variant. Those who are vaccinated will be less susceptible to the variant and if they do catch the virus they will feel much milder side effects. 

Doctors recommend that anyone who has not had the COVID-19 vaccination, that they should get vaccinated to stop the spread.

"Every week in this hospital I speak with a doctor or I have a personal communication with a patient that has come down with covid that wishes they have been vaccinated after the fact, please get it before the fact," said Dr. Wilson the local health authority for the Midland Health Department.

If the numbers keep going up, local hospitals are worried it will be difficult to keep up with a spike in patients.

"If you can get vaccinated, if you don't have a contraindication and few people do, please get vaccinated and do it today, do it tomorrow, do it as soon as you can because its the only way you can protect the people you care about," said Meyers.