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The Northeast Texas Health District warns residents that Thanksgiving is coming and most of the traditions start with families gathering together.

“The best way to keep yourself, and those you care about, safe for the holidays and when traveling is to be fully vaccinated against COVID,” the NET Health statement read.

While COVID-19 cases continue to crop up in East Texas, the spread is minimal in most counties. The NET Health 7-Day Rolling Rate calculates the average number of all COVID-positive cases from the previous seven days. On Thursday, Henderson County’s rate of 9.15 was up slightly from 8.63 the previous week.

The county rate remained just below a rate of 10, which is the threshold for moderate spread.

In early September, the rate had reached 92.85.

The latest report showed 6,434 confirmed COVID cases in Henderson County, of which 168 were still active. Fatalities had reached 344.

For Trauma Service District G, which includes a segment of East Texas with a population of more than 960,000, there were 108 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. Of the patients, 33 were on ventilators and 50 in the ICU.

In early September, State Health Services reported 822 in the hospital.

In Henderson County Monday, less than half of the population had been vaccinated, although the number was climbing. Of those age five and older, 44.8% had at least one dose of vaccine, with 39.18% fully vaccinated.

In the 65 and over age group, 71.85% had received at least one dose, while 66.12% were fully vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control advises residents not to neglect getting a flu shot as we head into flu season, even if you’ve had the COVID-19 vaccine. The diseases are similar, but caused by different viruses. Testing is needed to confirm a diagnoses. People can be infected with both at the same time.

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