COVID-19 Hospitalizations Up as Holiday Travel Takes Off

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We are officially in the thick of holiday travel season and COVID-19 cases are on the rise. Dr. Philip Huang of Dallas County tells us we should all be on alert.

Holiday travel is up and running and airports are busy. It’s a noticeable difference from the holiday season 2020. The fact that holiday travel has picked up is not an indication that COVID-19 is trending downward.

In fact, UT Southwestern Medical Center says Dallas County COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased by 6% in the past two weeks. In Tarrant county there’s been an increase of 13. Much of this can be attributed to the Omicron variant.

Dr. Philip Huang is Director of Dallas County health and Human Services. His message on traveling is clear.

“All the early evidence is that it spreads even faster than Delta,” said Huang. “If you’re not vaccinated you shouldn’t be traveling.”

If gathering with family is a must, Huang said it’s important to consider your family’s unique risk factors. Discuss whether everyone will be vaccinated, and if there’s anyone with greater vulnerabilities. He also encourages testing early and often.

“If that’s positive absolutely don’t participate,” said Huang. “If it’s negative then that’s some reassurance, but then if you’re having some sort of ongoing events with those family members, then keep retesting every 48 hours.”

Regardless of precautions, Huang says this is our reality in the coming weeks.

“We still have so many people who are not vaccinated yet,” he said. “We still have a lot of susceptible people. So, it’s very possible that we will see another increase in the number of cases.”

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