As the newly discovered omicron variant of the COVID-19 rips through North Texas, Dallas County’s Public Health Committee has raised the virus’ threat level back to red, the highest risk level on the county’s scale.
According to CBS 11 News, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, said on Tuesday, “the numbers for today (1,619 new positive COVID-19 cases) are doubling the numbers from our last reported day before Christmas of 874 cases on December 23.”
According to Jenkins, the December 23 numbers showed an eighty-two percent increase from the day before.
The judge added that the committee recommended a return to the red risk level because the virus is now spreading “rapidly again.”
Jenkins urged Dallas County residents to be careful to be cautious and stay safe. He also advised residents to get boosted and wear a surgical mask to protect them from the virus.
“You always rise to the challenge, North Texas and you will now,” Jenkins said, according to CBS 11 News.
The Dallas County Public Health Committee had earlier sent a letter to Jenkins highlighting various reasons why it had to move the risk level back to red.
The committee cited the rapidly rising COVID cases, elevated pediatric hospitalizations for COVID, inadequate testing facilities and access to testing, staffing shortage in acute care and long-term care facilities, amongst others, as some of the reasons it made the decision.
The committee also mentioned the slow vaccination rate in the county, with only fifty-four percent of county residents vaccinated and under fourteen percent boosted.
“With these trends assessed and a complete review of all metrics used, the Committee did move the county’s risk level to RED,” the letter read.