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COVID-19: September deadliest month during pandemic in McLennan County

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 6:30 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The McLennan County Health District reported 104 COVID-19 deaths in the month of September, the highest number of deaths attributed to the virus in a single month since the start of the pandemic.

Last month surpassed December 2021, when 86 people died because of COVID-19 in McLennan County.

“We pray that we’re on the back end of it. It was a really hard month for our staff and for the community as a whole,” said Waco-McLennan County Health District Director LaShonda Marley-Horne.

“You’re never going to be fully emotionally prepared for this kind of month we’ve had,” said Kelly Craine, a spokeswoman for the health district.

Monthly Covid19 deaths in McLennan County
Monthly Covid19 deaths in McLennan County(Megan Vanselow for KWTX)

During several weeks in September, the Texas hospital region McLennan County is in led the state in the percentage of COVID-19 patients in the hospital compared to hospital capacity.

At its peak, it was at 39.9 percent. As of Monday, it was down to 18 percent, according to the Department of State Health Services dashboard.

Marley-Horne said those who died last month are some of the youngest they’ve seen die as well, including the county’s first pediatric death related to the virus.

“We saw younger and younger people in the hospital in ICU on vents and passing away,” Marley-Horne said. “22 years old, 30 years old, 40 years old.”

The public health director said the delta variant is likely to blame for the surge in deaths, but they’re optimistic things are turning around as case counts go down and local schools report promising numbers.

“Schools are doing really good right now though so it makes us feel much better about it,” she said.

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