COVID-19 cases are rising dramatically in Dallas, in Texas, and across the country, prompting warnings from lawmakers and health officials to double back down on anti-virus practices.
On November 11, the total number of new COVID-19 cases in Dallas County was 1,401 — the largest number so far, with the exception of days when backlogs were recorded. Hospitalizations across North Texas and Dallas County showed a comparable one day jump.
Tarrant County also hit a record with 1,525 new COVID-19 cases on November 9, putting their total at 75,000 cases.
Texas, meanwhile, became the first state in the U.S. to top 1 million confirmed cases since the pandemic began, with a tally of 1,010,364 infections. Texas has the 10th largest number of cases in the world, and has surpassed the country of Italy.
Other states are also seeing increases. According to the Associated Press, hospitals in Tulsa, Oklahoma, are full, and North Dakota has a shortage of qualified personnel. The U.S. has already logged one million cases in November.
CNBC predicts that the U.S. is headed for a "dark winter," a "COVID Hell," the "darkest days of the pandemic."
At a press conference on November 12, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said that Dallas' COVID-19 outbreak is "spiking dangerously," and that the county could reach its highest COVID hospitalization census yet if people do not begin to change their behavior.
Compliance on safe practices including masks, social distancing, and staying at home, has dropped to 56 percent.
Officials are especially concerned about the upcoming holiday and the likelihood that people are going to gather in groups.
"Small gatherings are some of the most problematic," Jenkins said. "People need to celebrate with their nuclear family, and celebrate at home."
He also cautioned against Black Friday and against big parties, and recommended limiting any kind of interaction with other people.
"Now is the time for those who have given into COVID fatigue and lost their resolve to wear a mask and avoid crowds to strengthen their commitment to public health and our economy by doing the things that we know will keep us safe," Jenkins said.
"Wear your mask when around people who do not live in your home," he said. "This includes when there are visitors to your home. Maintain six foot distance, wash your hands, and please avoid crowds and unnecessary trips."
He said that we are entering "the most dangerous phase we have seen to date" in the COVID crisis.