Dallas County

Dallas County Lowers COVID-19 Risk Level From Red to Orange

While still at a high spread in the county, the drop in cases leads to a drop in the county's risk level

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Dallas County officials have lowered the COVID-19 risk level from red to orange due to a dramatic drop in new cases.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins told NBC 5 Monday that the threat level would move from "high risk of transmission" to "extreme caution," an improvement, due to the hard work of North Texans wearing masks, getting vaccinations, and "doing things we need to do."

Jenkins said the move from the most serious threat level to orange should give those who have been taking precautions more freedom to do things like go to the mall, eat a meal on a patio, attend meetings and visit with neighbors.

"This doesn't change much for the unvaccinated. But for vaccinated people who are not eligible for a booster yet or who for people who are currently up to date on their shots because they've had their booster, it means more freedom," Jenkins said.

Jenkins said it's still recommended that people wear masks when doing those activities so that the numbers can fall even further and that the threat level can be dropped from orange to yellow.

"Still wearing that mask for now although as these numbers come down hopefully we'll have even more freedoms," Jenkins said.

According to Dallas County numbers reported Sundays through Fridays, the average number of new daily cases has dropped from a high of more than 4,800 in mid-January to 760 last Friday.

Jenkins said there is still a high level of spread in the county and that nearly half of the hospitals in North Texas had to use temporary staff due to the number of patients needing care for COVID-19 or other illnesses.

"If we look at numbers in the delta variant, the variant before omicron, we're still higher than most of the time when we were in that delta surge. So, we've got a ways to go to get to where we need to but we're dropping so quickly it shouldn't be too long."

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