AUSTIN (KXAN) — COVID-19 cases are on the rise nationwide, and local experts are warning people to stay vigilant as holiday and summer travel begins.

Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County health authority, says Travis County is averaging 500 to 600 new cases per day, but those numbers could be much larger.

“We know there are more than that occurring, and we are not getting those reports because people are doing home testing,” said Walkes.

Nick Hays recently tested positive and had mild symptoms. Hays says he didn’t realize cases were on the rise until he went to the doctor and heard more people had been showing up to get tested.

“Recently I have heard about several of my friends testing positive,” said Hays.

With cases on the rise, what can we expect as the summer continues?

The University of Texas COVID-19 Modeling Consortium tries to stay one step ahead with their projections and their latest data.

“The modeling can give us about what is going to happen in the near and far future,” said Dr. Anass Bouchnita, Postdoctoral Fellow working at the University of Texas COVID-19 Modeling Consortium.

One scenario shows a surge reaching its peak in the fall. In this case, they factor in new variants that are highly immune-evasive and fewer people getting booster shots.

“The numbers that will be reached by then will only be about half of what we had in the January wave, but the problem is this peak will be gradual and it will generate more hospitalizations and deaths in the long run,” said Bouchnita.

Another projection shows immunity lasting longer and more people getting vaccinated.

“We still expect to see a consistent rise in cases, however we expect that hospital admissions and deaths will not increase very much,” said Bouchnita.

Current Travis County numbers show 118 hospitalizations due to COVID 19 with 16 people in the ICU.

“Anything we can do as a community to work together to keep these numbers down is going to be helpful,” said Dr. Walkes.