The COVID-19 risk level in Dallas County has been moved to yellow, warning unvaccinated people to proceed carefully.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins tweeted Monday morning that the Public Health Committee moved the COVID-19 risk level down from orange to yellow, for unvaccinated people, from Extreme Caution to Proceed Carefully.
In October the risk level was raised from orange to red as cases in the county skyrocketed. After the winter spike subsided, the risk level was dropped back to orange and now to yellow.
CDC guidance for vaccinated and unvaccinated people is below, with many activities indoors still regarded as high risk for those who are not vaccinated against the virus.
County leaders continue to urge everyone to get a COVID-19 vaccine or wear a mask as a precaution.
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In Texas, the COVID-19 vaccines are currently available to anyone over the age of 5. The vaccines are still not approved for children younger than 5 however -- those trials are ongoing.
Once vaccinated, people who received either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines are expected to get some level of protection within a couple of weeks after the first shot, but full protection may not happen until a couple of weeks after the second shot. For those who receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine -- there is only one shot needed.
As of Jan. 3, 2022, it is also recommended those who are age 12 and up and who have been fully vaccinated receive a booster as early as five months after their last dose, for a total of three shots. The vaccine made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech is the only U.S. option for children of any age.
As for even younger children, kid-size doses for 5- to 11-year-olds rolled out in November and experts said healthy youngsters should be protected after their second dose for a while. But the FDA also said on Jan. 3, 2022, that if children that young have severely weakened immune systems, they will be allowed a third dose 28 days after their second. That’s the same third-dose timing already recommended for immune-compromised teens and adults.
Pfizer and Moderna are studying their vaccines, in even smaller doses, for children younger than 5.
Even when fully vaccinated, it's still possible to become infected by the virus since none of the vaccines offer 100% protection from infection. With that in mind, even if you've been vaccinated it's still a good idea to wear a mask and keep some separation between strangers or those whose vaccination status is unclear.