The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has placed parts of North Texas on alert for the spread of COVID-19.
Dallas, Tarrant and Collin counties are now in the high risk or red category for the spread of COVID-19. Denton County is placed yellow.
The red designation differs from the yellow, which only recommends wearing a mask at home for those at risk of serious illness.
According to recent Covid-19 predictions by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers, two omicron sub-variants, BA.4 and BA.5, account for more than 75% of samples tested so far.
At high-risk levels, the CDC recommends people wear masks at home, get vaccinated, increase ventilation at home, and get tested if they have symptoms.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put parts of North Texas on alert for the spread of Covid-19.
“As long as we do all these things, we’ll be fine. So I don’t think anyone should be too worried. But let’s still be smart,” said Dr. Joseph Chang. , Parkland Memorial Hospital Chief Medical Officer.
The CDC has red listed Dallas County County leaders still have their own community outreach concerns. It is still listed as yellow.
The county’s health committee won’t meet until Tuesday, July 19. County Judge Clay Jenkins said he doesn’t yet know if local experts will move the risk level to red.
Dr. Chang said that what we are seeing now is not a serious issue yet.
“I think my risk level is greater than zero. But you know, on a scale of one to 10, it’s not even close to a five at this point,” he told NBC 5.
As of Friday morning, Dr. Chang said Parkland was currently treating 30 patients with Covid-19 at the hospital.
“That’s two or three more than we had two months ago, but not significantly different from the 25 patients we had last week,” Dr. Chang said.
He said other hospitals in DFW — which he communicates regularly — are seeing similar numbers.
For comparison, Dr. Chang said, at Parkland’s peak, they were seeing 300 COVID-19 patients a day.
“I don’t think we’re going to have the kind of situation we’ve had with Omicron and Delta, and certainly not at the severity of the disease that we’ve seen. Now, we’re seeing people get sick and they can stay home. But the severity is probably nowhere near what we’ve seen before, and that’s the good part,” he said.
Researchers at UT Southwestern expect an increase in Covid hospitalizations in the next several weeks. Their biggest concern right now is the sharp increase in new patients over the age of 65.
Dr. Chang says what people do in the coming weeks is important. If you are going to large gatherings, consider wearing a mask. And stay home if you’re sick.
“We need to take proper precautions when doing our daily and routine activities,” Dr. Chang said. Should you wear a mask if you are walking your dog? No, I think maybe wearing a mask in a situation like this would be overkill. If you’re going to a Justin Bieber concert with 15,000 other screaming people — well, you might want to be smart and wear your mask.
Dr. Chang stressed that the best way to avoid cases, especially children, is to get the Covid-19 vaccine as hospitals look to start classes in a month.
“I never saw big waves like Omicron and Delta again. Of course, the ultimate super-distribution event is school.”[Kids] It is necessary to vaccinate immediately. Again, this is very basic, very simple and very straightforward. I know there are many people who have many reasons for not wanting to vaccinate their children. But listen, it’s just being smart. If we don’t, we will face some consequences.
It’s too early to say what protocols school districts will adopt when that happens.
Because of the extreme heat in North Texas, the hospital is seeing double the number of heat-related illnesses in their hospitals compared to Covid hospitals, he said.