North Texas put on high alert for COVID-19 infections – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has placed parts of North Texans on high 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 set to yellow.

The red designation differs from yellow, which only recommends wearing masks indoors for people at high risk of serious illness.

According to the latest COVID-19 predictions from researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center, two omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, account for more than 75% of the samples that have been tested so far.

At the high-risk level, the CDC now recommends people wear a mask indoors, get vaccinated, increase indoor ventilation, and get tested if they have symptoms.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has placed parts of North Texans on alert for the spread of COVID-19.

“As long as we do all of these things, we’ll be fine. So I don’t think anyone needs to be extremely worried. But again, let’s just be smart,” Dr. Joseph Chang said. , chief medical officer at Parkland Memorial Hospital.

While the CDC has listed Dallas County as red, county leaders still have their own community spread risk still listed as yellow.

The county health committee does not meet until Tuesday, July 19. County Judge Clay Jenkins said he did not yet know if local experts would raise the risk level to red.

Dr Chang said what we are seeing now is not yet cause for concern.

“I think my worry level is above 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.

Dr. Chang said Friday morning that Parkland was currently treating 30 patients in hospital for COVID-19.

“That’s more than the two or three we had two months ago, but not drastically different from the 25 patients we had last week,” Dr Chang said.

He said other DFW hospitals – which communicate with each other regularly – are seeing similar numbers.

Dr Chang said for comparison that at the top of Parkland they were seeing 300 COVID-19 patients a day.

“I don’t believe we’re going to have the same situation we had with omicron and delta, and certainly not at the severity of the disease that we’ve seen. Now we might see people getting sick and they might have to stay at But the gravity probably won’t be close to what we’ve seen before. That’s the good part,” he said.

UT Southwestern researchers expect hospitalizations for COVID to increase in the coming weeks. Their big concern right now is a sharp increase in new patients over the age of 65.

Dr Chang says what people do in the coming weeks is important. If you go to large gatherings, consider masking up. And stay home if you are sick.

“We just have to take the right precautions when doing our daily and regular activities,” Dr. Chang said. “Do you have to wear a mask if you’re walking down the street with your dog? No, I really think it’s probably overkill to put on a mask in this kind of situation. If you’re going to the Justin Bieber concert with 15,000 other people screaming — OK, maybe that’s a situation where you might want to be smart and put your mask on.”

Dr. Chang pointed out that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to avoid problems, especially for children, as hospitals watch for the start of school in a month.

“I don’t see big waves like omicron and delta anymore. Of course the ultimate super spreader event is school,” he said. “[Kids] should be vaccinated immediately. Again, it’s very basic, very simple, and very simple. I know many people have many reasons why they don’t want their children vaccinated. But listen, it’s just being smart. And if we don’t, we’re going to see consequences.

It’s still too early to tell what protocols school districts will decide when this happens.

He added that the hospital is seeing double the number of heat-related illness cases in his hospital than COVID hospitalizations due to the extreme heat wave in North Texas.

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