With COVID-19 now on the rise, Dallas County has returned the threat level to Red, the highest risk level on the county's COVID-19 scale. It had been set to Orange, for Extra Caution, since October.
December 28 saw a big spike in cases in Dallas County, one that reflects a spike across the U.S.
The number of positive COVID-19 cases reported daily in Dallas County has been at around 300 or less cases per day, but Tuesday's tally surged to 1,619, causing the county's Public Health Committee to take action.
"Our review demonstrated a dramatic increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and the hospital census in Dallas in the past week," the committee said in a release. "We do also know that we have clusters of COVID-19 associated with social events, increased outbreaks in congregate settings and Dallas County is seeing a significant impact on the health care staffing and with pressure on emergency departments."
In the same statement, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins noted a snowballing increase.
"The numbers for today are doubling the numbers from our last reported day before Christmas of 874 cases on December 23, which was an 82 percent increase of the day before," Jenkins said.
Jenkins recommended getting boosted, wearing a surgical mask, and avoiding crowds.
The U.S. set a new record this week for the number of new COVID-19 infections, with half a million cases reported on December 27, beating the previous record of 300,000 in one day.
The surge is due to the omicron variant, which is now the dominant variant in Dallas-Fort Worth, replacing the delta variant.
According to projections by UTSW, cases are expected to keep increasing to 800 cases daily in Dallas County and 500-plus daily infections in Tarrant County.