Tarrant County Returns to ‘High' COVID-19 Spread Level

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As Tarrant County health leaders report an uptick in COVID-19 activity, they continue to monitor data as the holidays approach.

This week, Tarrant County Public Health raised the level of COVID-19 community spread back to “high." It was lowered to “substantial” in November.

“That is based on case rate,” Tarrant County Public Health director Vinny Taneja said Tuesday. “We’re at 110 cases per 100,000 population. If you watch the daily numbers, we’re starting to report 400-500 cases every day.”

Taneja urged Tuesday, people should practice “common sense methods” in order to help slow the spread of the virus. Specifically, he pointed to the importance of masks in large settings and vaccinations.

“It’s widely available. There’s really no wait anywhere. Mostly, pharmacies have it. Public health locations have it, a lot of doctors’ offices have it,” he said. “We’ve had over 1.1 million people fully vaccinated in the county, but only about 220,000 or so have had their booster dose.”

Local business owners are also paying close attention to spread levels.

At Ampersand in Fort Worth, CEO Toan Luong said precautions are still taken at their shop. Masks are at the discretion of customers and employees, but Luong said they have parameters in place if employees get sick.

“We require them to go get a COVID test and to take all the measures before coming back,” he said. “Of course, they have to come back with a negative test result.”

Ampersand has been operating for nearly five years, Luong added. Business in 2021 is better compared to 2020, and he expects the holiday season to be busy. Still, he said they are not abandoning safety measures that have been in place. Disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer are also available at their store, he said.

“We’re doing whatever we can right now,” he said. “It’s always changing. As a small business owner, it’s our part to do what we can. We’re here to help.”

According to Tarrant County’s COVID-19 dashboard, about 52% of all Tarrant County residents are considered fully vaccinated. The dashboard is expected to provide an update on Wednesday.

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