Dallas County raised its COVID-19 risk level to yellow on Wednesday as North Texas health authorities continue to report rising coronavirus case numbers and hospitalizations.
COVID-19 cases have increased by 20-30% in the past two weeks in Dallas County, according to a letter from the Dallas County Public Health Committee to Judge Clay Jenkins. The county has seen a 36% increase in COVID-related hospitalizations in the same timeframe.
Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 account for the majority of cases in the area, the letter said.
Dallas County had been at a risk level of green since April.
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"The primary driver of this increase is that much of the population remains unvaccinated, under-vaccinated or unboosted with the COVID vaccine," the letter said.
The letter also says increasing case numbers, percent positivity, hospitalizations and ICU admissions are reasons for the change in risk level.
"While Dallas County currently has lower COVID-19 case volumes and hospitalization rates than reported in other waves, the acceleration in numbers of cases, hospitalizations, employee absenteeism and the transmissibility of the current circulating strain is increasing the burden on the health of our residents and our healthcare system," the letter said.
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Under the elevated risk level, the committee recommended vaccination and booster shots if eligible and that individuals at high risk should mask indoors, especially in crowded rooms.