ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Hendrick Health moved its Community Safety Dial back up to Level 4: Severe, as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise in Taylor County.

Hendrick Health officials said the seven-day positivity rate and the number of active cases is what warranted the move to Level 4.

The Abilene Taylor County Public Health District reported 49 new cases Wednesday, with active cases now at 701.

In the meantime, hospital visitation restrictions remain in place, and masking continues to be required for all visitors and staff at any Hendrick Health facility, regardless of vaccination status.

Hendrick Health’s official position on COVID-19 vaccines remains the same; that “COVID-19 vaccines are the best form of defense against COVID-19 and its variants, and have been proven effective at preventing hospitalization and severe illness.”

For additional information about vaccines, click here.