ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The newest subvariant of COVID-19 is BA.5. Experts say the variant may be more easily spread but has not been as severe as the original coronavirus. Even so, Big Country health professionals say cases are increasing.

Monday, Hendrick Health moved its COVID-19 Community Safety Dial to Level 3: High Risk. Level three is in effect for Taylor and Brown Counties.

In the Key City, local companies have reported an uptick in clients just within the past weeks, and are now asking the public to continue safe practices. 

Attending to more patients at home is what one Abilene nurse practitioner, Clay Lohse, does every day with his Big Country Mobile Med service. 

“I have, just, a heart for treating people when they’re really sick and when they need me the most,” said Lohse.   

Lohse told KTAB/KRBC his goal is to support his client’s bodies with fluids and vitamins, zinc in particular.   

“Also help them get some energy back to where they can recover from the fatigue that COVID is known for,” Lohse explained.  

With the Omicron subvariant on the rise, Lohse offers what he calls Clay’s Cocktail. The cocktail, which you guessed it – isn’t really a cocktail, is a multi-vitamin infusion through an IV bag.   

“Some people respond very well to those IVs, but some of them don’t,” Lohse relayed. “It just takes time to get over COVID.” 

COVID-19 is not the only virus currently impacting the world, as we know all to well. Jonathan Spencer, owner of Professional Disinfectant Service Company Germ Killer, reported a 20% client increase within just one week.

“We’ve had some strep and some staph infections. So, you kind of mix that in and get a little bit of everything,” Spencer said. “We give you that extra protection, the extra insurance. But at the end of the day you guys still have to clean.”

Now letting people know that his services are not just one-stop, Spencer advised that extra precautions are still necessary.  

“You still have to cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough,” Spencer encouraged. “You still have to do the things in your control to mitigate the spread.”

As the COVID-19 Omicron variant continues changing and causing cases to climb, both Lohse and Spencer say it’s up to us to help reduce the spike.