Dallas County

As Residents Gather on Labor Day Holiday, County Health Director Urges Vaccines, Masks

Adult cases in Dallas County are starting to level off, but pediatric cases are still on the rise

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The Dallas County health director voiced concerns Monday about a possible COVID-19 holiday surge from Labor Day crowds and gatherings.

There was some encouraging news that adult cases in the county may be peaking, but pediatric cases reported were still on the rise.

Downtown Dallas destinations were busy on the sunny holiday Monday.

Jennie Furness and her children from Allen were there with out of town family to see the sights.

They brought their masks.

“It's really frustrating that we all thought it was going to be gone by now, and we're still having to wear masks and everything. But we wear them inside because we need to do that to protect each other,” Furness said.

Even outdoors, it’s recommended that people keep some distance from one another. Indoors, masks are strongly recommended, even for people who have received COVID-19 vaccines.

“Those fully vaccinated may be protected but they still can carry the virus and transmit it to others,” Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang said.

Deep Ellum shops and restaurants were busy with visitors as an ambulance passed by on Main Street heading to Baylor University Medical Center.

Hospitals in North Texas are still extremely busy due to COVID-19.

“We're in a lot of high transmission going on, and our health care system is extremely stressed, so we need to do things safely,” Huang said.

Video of screaming teens close together at Friday night high school football games around North Texas was also a concern to the health director.

“Very concerning. And again, those that are vaccinated, we're glad they are vaccinated. Anyone who isn't vaccinated yet, absolutely needs to get it now,” Huang said.

High school students are old enough to be vaccinated. Kids under 12 years of age are not.

Furness said her children are too young for COVID-19 shots.

“We need to protect the kids,”  she said.

While some people say they are tired of wearing masks, a couple from Miami said they have been vaccinated and still wore masks as they walked through downtown Dallas on Labor Day.

“For sure they will get tired of it, but for us, it's not that big difference to have the mask on or off,” Lyly Mai said.

It would take weeks to see the result of COVID-19 transmission from Labor Day gatherings.

To help encourage vaccination, Dallas County Commissioners Tuesday will vote on $455,000 for vaccination incentives including $20 worth of State Fair coupons or $25 Walmart gift cards.

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