Dallas, TX – The number of new Covid-19 cases across the North Texas area is on the rise in the recent weeks, but health officials say is way too early to panic since the hospitals are not under pressure. At least for now.
According to multiple health experts, there is possibility of new Covid-19 wave in January, after the holidays. The biggest concern for now is the staffing shortages the hospitals currently face and in case of large Covid-19 wave, the recent problem with staff might surface again.
Those who are unvaccinated are urged to get their first shot ahead of the holidays, while those who are fully vaccinated are urged to get their booster dose in an effort to keep themselves safe from the Omicron variant and additionally slow down the spread of the virus.
This was once again repeated by the Dallas County Health Director who asked Texans to get vaccinated as soon as now.
As a result of the increasing number of testing requests in the North Texas area, local health officials announced changes. Dallas College was set to close testing sites at its Richland and Mountain View campuses on Thursday, but that has been pushed back.
“In anticipation of continued demand they have assured they will offer drive-thru testing through the month of January and reassess,” said Dr. Philip Huang, Dallas County Health and Human Services.
Huang told Dallas County commissioners on Tuesday the county will also soon begin offering COVID-19 testing at its North Lake campus.
“Parkland is also looking at the resources they have to increase testing,” Huang said.
The latest move is a result of the increasing number of cases, increasing positivity rate and of course, the rising number of people who want to test for Covid-19.
“An increase in the use of ER for COVID19-like symptoms, which is another early indicator of an impending wave,” Jenkins said.
According to he most recent data provided by the DFW Hospital Council, in the North Texas area there are nearly 800 Covid-19 hospitalized patients.
Taking into consideration that Omicron is spreading fast across the country, those will decide not to get vaccinated for the holidays to make rapid or PCR tests before the family gatherings. That way, the unvaccinated will keep themselves safe, but also their family relatives and friends.
Meanwhile, Gov. Abbott confirmed that he doesn’t plan to implement statewide mask mandate anytime soon even if there is winter Covid-19 wave. Additionally, he also plans to call another special legislative session to ask lawmakers to outlaw vaccine mandates as well. The vaccine mandates in Texas are currently banned in Texas with Abbott’s executive order.
texasstandard.news contributed to this report.