FORT WORTH, Texas - Pleading has turned into frustration for Tarrant County leaders.
They are watching COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise once again and have a simple request for unvaccinated people in the county.
"Can’t be any plainer than that. You've got to take the damn shot," said Commissioner Roy Brooks.
About eight percent of all hospitalizations in Tarrant County are COVID-19 patients, which is the highest since early March.
"Just looking at this chart it looks pretty alarming, but it’s a parallel outbreak in Tarrant County," said county health commissioner Vinny Taneja, referencing the spike in cases among the unvaccinated.
Commissioners argued over what threshold of vaccinations could bring an end to the spread of the virus, which has accelerated due to the Delta variant. More than 200 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Monday in Tarrant County.
"Herd immunity to me is not a real thing," Brooks said. "You're either vaccinated or you're not. If you're not vaccinated you're at risk."
The commissioners’ back and forth underscores frustration over rising COVID-19 hospitalizations and a sharp drop in vaccine demand. Meanwhile, the county's toughest tool available is messaging to urge residents for voluntary vigilance.
Judge Whitley noted his strong stance.
"Because I’m not willing to say stay at home. That's not in my vocabulary," said Judge Glen Whitley.
Taneja said there’s a simple fix to what’s happening in the county.
"The main message here is variants are going to occur," Taneja said. "Get vaccinated, let’s get rid of all the excuses."