As Tarrant County’s COVID-19 hospitalizations and case counts decline, overall transmission levels may also see improvements.
Since July, Tarrant County’s COVID-19 spread level has been marked as “high." That could be lowered Wednesday, Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja said.
“If everything holds and the data is stable, we will be lowering that spread level from high to substantial,” Taneja said.
The lowering of spread levels depends on two factors: positivity rate remaining below 10% and the overall case rate being below 100 cases per 100,000 people. According to Taneja’s briefing before county commissioners Tuesday, all indicators used to measure COVID-19 trends are declining.
“It’s a relative thing. We’re still at a substantial spread. There’s a lot of disease activity out there, but we’re seeing it on the way down. So, we’re excited about that,” he said. “We’re heading into the holidays. We’re seeing some uptick in the activity in Europe. Travel just opened internationally, so there’s always something to be cautious about and this would be one of those good times to continue wearing a mask. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, there’s plenty to go around.”
With Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine now approved for children between 5 and 11, county leaders are having discussions with school districts regarding vaccine sites. On Saturday, a mass vaccination site will open at the Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center in Arlington from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Taneja said the clinic will open to those outside of the Arlington Independent School District and though their focus is on the 5-to-11-year-old age group, anyone who is eligible for a vaccine is welcome. In Tarrant County, there are approximately 204,000 children between the ages of 5 and 11.
Tarrant County leaders stressed Tuesday, precautions should still be taken even with COVID-19 data showing a positive trend.
“Let’s remain diligent about this and get the vaccine. We got holidays coming up. We don’t want a surge to come through on that deal,” Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said.