The COVID-19 “risk level” for Dallas County was upgraded on Saturday from yellow to orange at the recommendation of the Dallas County Public Health Committee, which urged individuals to proceed with “extreme caution.”
In the week before the upgrade, hospitalizations due to COVID-19 climbed by 28.9%, from 190 to 245. Within the two weeks prior, hospitalizations surged by 45%, according to a report written by the committee.
On Monday, Texas clocked 7,137 new COVID-19 cases, according to data from the Texas Health and Human Services COVID-19 dashboard.
The committee identified inadequate/waning immunity and a lack of masking as the main contributors to the rise in COVID-19 cases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended wearing a mask indoors, getting immunized for COVID-19 and the flu, increasing ventilation indoors, and getting tested for the virus at any sign of symptoms.
“As long as we do all of those things, we’re going to be OK,” said Dr. Joseph Chang, Parkland Memorial Hospital Chief Medical Officer, to NBC 5.
As reported in The Dallas Express, a new subvariant of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is quickly spreading through Texas. However, while more contagious, it has so far proven to be significantly less lethal than previous iterations of the virus.
Chang continued, “So I don’t believe that anyone needs to have an extreme amount of concern. But again, let’s just be smart.” He added that his concern level is above zero, but it is not even a five on a scale of one to 10.
The news comes after the CDC classified Dallas, Tarrant, and Collin counties as “red” or high-risk areas for the spread of COVID-19, as reported in The Dallas Express.