County Judge Lowers Dallas’ COVID-19 Threat Level to ‘Extreme Caution’

Judge Clay Jenkins Lowers Dallas COVID-19 Level to "Extreme Caution"
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins speaking during a press conference. | Image by Martin Deporto via WFAA

On February 21, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins declared the COVID-19 threat level will lower from red to orange, or “extreme caution.”

The color-coded threat system was created at the start of the pandemic to demarcate the levels of COVID-19 transmission risk and case prevalence.

“We believe that Dallas County has made tremendous progress and that the case counts are decreasing, but our transmission risk is high,” said Judge Clay Jenkins. “Hence, we, our leaders and our residents [will] continue to support additional precautions to protect those individuals who are not [vaccinated] or are partially vaccinated.”

Judge Clay Jenkins’ public health committee and other health officials urge people to continue wearing masks, social distance in public places, and become vaccinated.

Last December, the county was previously at the orange level before the Omicron variant peaked nationwide.

Dallas County announced last week 62 additional COVID-19 deaths and 6,383 new cases of the virus.

“Although the numbers are much lower than they have been last month, they are still high in comparison to pre-Omicron numbers,” said Judge Clay Jenkins in response to the 2,800 fewer cases reported. “Hopefully, the numbers will continue to decline rapidly, but for now, it’s important to continue being vigilant about masking in indoor public settings outside your own home, maintaining six-foot distance, and washing your hands frequently.”

Judge Jenkins’ mask mandate is still in effect, but there are no consequences for anyone not following the order.

J.J. Koch, the county commissioner, has challenged Jenkins’ mask mandate and approach to COVID-19. 

According to Koch, the order is not being followed, yet COVID cases are dropping. He notes other counties have higher numbers of cases and have still revoked their mask mandates, and insinuated Jenkins’ decisions will soon cause Dallas city officials to lose credibility.

Judge Jenkins maintains that his choices are based on science as informed by his health advisory committee, and says he will carry on with the mask mandate until health experts tell him otherwise.

“I’m going to trust the doctors. I’ll take whatever damage it does to me politically to get out information to keep people safe,” said Jenkins.

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1 Comment

  1. Karen Farley

    How about the CDC experts that have stated masks are not effective protection?


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