With the start of the school year right around the corner, Dallas County health officials are expressing concern as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
“We have made significant progress over the last six months and we just don't want to go backward,” said Christian Grisales, a spokesperson for the Dallas County Health and Human Services. “And it seems that that's what's happening because people are not getting the vaccine.”
Last week the number of new COVID-19 cases in the county ranged from 600-800 cases a day. Those who work in healthcare said they can feel the impact.
“It’s very frustrating to know that the numbers are rising due to the demand and stress that it puts on the healthcare system,” registered nurse Xaquita Wicks said.
On Friday, Dallas County health officials upgraded the COVID-19 threat level to orange or “extreme caution," urging unvaccinated residents to take precautions including wearing masks and avoiding large crowds.
“When I go to parties, I still try to wear my mask and still social distance as much as possible. I’m not in denial, I know that COVID is still around,” said Laurent Alexander, an unvaccinated resident.
Yet the concern for many is that with the decline in vaccinations and the emerging delta variant, things may get worse before they get better.
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“You know, just when we thought we had it under control now it’s like we’re back at square one,” Wicks said.
With the beginning of school right around the corner, health officials said the timing is critical. That’s why they’re going door-to-door and urging residents in ZIP codes with low vaccination rates to get the shot in order to protect themselves and their loved ones.
“We don't want to go back, we want to move forward. And the way to move forward is by getting the vaccine,” Grisales said.