Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced Friday evening that as of today, the county has increased its threat level from the coronavirus to orange for unvaccinated people in response to an increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
The change, which Jenkins announced on Twitter shortly before 10 p.m. Friday, means there is a moderate risk of COVID-19 transmission. Drive-through, curbside, delivery and take-out options are recommended. Indoor dining at restaurants discouraged but allowed, with county guidelines calling for social distancing and masks
County guidelines further recommend avoiding non-essential travel, limiting outdoor gatherings to fewer than 10 people, and attending entertainment events only if COVID-19 security measures are in place.
Jenkins said the county public health committee unanimously decided to reduce the threat level to orange at a meeting Friday night.
The change comes as the pace of vaccinations has slowed and the highly contagious delta variant of the disease has gained prominence among new cases.
Dr Philip Huang, county public health director, said The morning news from Dallas Tuesday that increasing the threat level remained a possibility as the committee examined county health data.
The last time Dallas County changed its threat level was in mid-June, when it turned yellow – the lowest level the county has been in since the level system began. threat last year.
Dallas County reported 406 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday – the county’s highest one-day total since February.
The county reported 434 new cases of coronavirus and three deaths on Friday. The figures bring the county’s total to 312,154 cases, including 267,436 confirmed and 44,718 probable. The death toll is 4,179.
Also on Friday, the 19-county area of North Texas nearly surpassed 1,000 hospitalizations, state data showed. The region has not seen such a high number of hospitalizations since March 9.
The average number of daily new cases in the county over the past two weeks is 304 – the highest number since March 19. For the previous 14-day period, the average was 138.
UT Southwestern Medical Center released a new model on Wednesday indicating that if vaccination rates remain slow and the public does not step up mask use and social distancing, North Texas by October will return to low levels. unseen levels of cases and hospitalization since January and last summer.
According to the state, 1,316,927 people in Dallas County have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 1,124,010 people – 51.5% of the county’s eligible population aged 12 and older – are fully vaccinated on Friday.
Dallas County’s return to orange comes a day after Harris County officials followed suit. Austin officials also increased their threat level on Friday.