Our region continues to see concerning increases in the number of COVID-19 cases, the percentage of tests that come back positive each day and the number of related hospitalizations. We must all take action against this growth trend. Now.

The July Fourth holiday is traditionally a time to gather with family and friends to celebrate the courage and commitment that forged our nation. As president of the first academic medical center in Texas, I implore everyone to have the courage and commitment to change behaviors now to alleviate suffering later.

• Wear masks when around other people.

• And avoid crowds — stay home whenever you can.

• And keep at least 6 feet of distance between you and others outside of your household.

• And practice good hand hygiene. Frequently.

• And self-isolate if you are ill or think you have been exposed to COVID-19.

Not “or” but “and.” These simple actions work together to protect you and those around you. The science tells us so.

We must all work together to combat the spread of COVID-19 to protect our communities.

We can do this. If we act now.

Wishing you and your family a safe and healthy July Fourth.

Dr. Ben G. Raimer is interim president of The University of Texas Medical Branch based in Galveston.

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(2) comments

Bailey Jones

On my weekly providing trip yesterday I was glad to see all of the shoppers and all but a couple of isolated employees in masks. Since Memorial Day, cases in Galveston County have quintupled, rising more than twice as fast as the rate of testing. Hospitalizations have more than doubled, deaths are beginning to climb again. Nationally, deaths - which had fallen every week since mid April, are beginning to inch back up. The data are absolutely clear - the isolation we began to practice in April, and quit practicing at the end of May, directly affects the spread of the virus. 130,000 Americans have died already this year, more than twice as many as our worst flu season. At current rates we're on track for another whole flu season's worth of deaths by Labor Day. And then flu season starts.

Charles Douglas


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