Dallas County launched door-to-door promotion for COVID-19 vaccinations Thursday as cases rise again, especially among unvaccinated patients.
The daily rate of new confirmed cases has more than tripled with 659 reported Wednesday compared with an average of 154 a day in June.
A slowing rate of vaccination coupled with a more aggressive and contagious Delta variant are blamed for the rise.
It is still far below the highest daily numbers earlier in the pandemic but experts fear the new cases could again overfill hospital beds if the trend continues.
Thursday's block walking began in Dallas Oak Cliff neighborhoods where COVID-19 hit hard the first time around and where vaccination rates remain low according to Dallas County Health Department Spokesman Christian Grisales.
“It’s very important because COVID cases continue to go up. We know that the Delta variant is affecting a lot of people. Most people that test positive for COVID or have been hospitalized are people who haven’t been vaccinated. So the county is really doubling down on efforts to make sure people know about the vaccine,” Grisales said.
Resident John Rodriguez said his family is vaccinated after COVID struck close to home.
“We lost a couple of people in our family to COVID,” he said. “So after that, we needed everybody to get on board and do our part to get vaccinated.”
Block walkers brought information about vaccines and where to get vaccinated along with details on transportation available to those who need it and rewards for people who get shots.
“They may be hearing different things on social media, so we just give them the facts, and tell them, 'Hey, read this, it's in Spanish and English.' So it's very important information,” said block walker Armando Martinez.
In some parts of the nation, there’s been opposition to people going door-to-door promoting vaccination. There was no opposition seen Thursday in Dallas.
Resident Jose Sanchez said he got vaccinated at a pharmacy because he also saw the risk of contracting COVID-19.
“I do know from my old job. A couple of people got sick and they were out for a long time,” Sanchez said. “It changed the whole world.”
Dallas County block walkers will be in neighborhoods around Dallas Fair Park on Friday.
The Fair Park vaccination hub will also reopen on the next two Saturdays to help more people get shots.