North Texas – There is rising trend in the number of new Covid-19 cases in the North Texas area and health experts say that indoor gatherings and the holidays are believed to be the major reason for the latest surge in cases in the area.
It looks like that we are at the very start of the new, winter Covid-19 wave as the number of cases is rising again both nationally and locally. The most recent surge in cases probably comes in the worst possible moment as we are approaching the holiday season and even more family gatherings are expected in the upcoming period.
The rising number of cases prompted people to test more frequent since they are in contact with positive cases more often. That led some of the local testing sites to see drastic increase in the number of people who are testing on Covid-19.
At Neighborhood Medical Center in North Dallas, they said they’re now testing more than 200 people per day. Texas SkyRanger flew over a busy drive-through testing site along Northwest Highway and Abrams in Northeast Dallas where dozens of cars were parked with people waiting inside for tests.
Although many blame the recently discovered Omicron variant for the rising trend in cases, health officials and doctors say that more than 99 percent of the cases are still Delta variant cases.
However, the spike in cases is still very low compared to last year’s surge this time. That was also confirmed by the officials at Parkland Hospital in Dallas who confirmed they see a rising number of cases and patients, but is much lower compared to last year’s winter wave. At least for now.
Dr. Joseph Chang, Chief Medical Officer at Parkland, cautioned families against relying solely on rapid tests before gathering for family events.
“They can sometimes be negative when they’re in fact positive and they can be positive when you’re in fact negative, so it’s a little bit of a false sense of security when we do these tests,” Chang said.
In an effort to slow the spread of the virus and avoid potential winter wave after the holidays, health experts have been urging people to get vaccinated for months now. That said, the current surge is expected to continue in the upcoming period. Health experts additionally believe that there will be even higher number of cases after Christmas and New Year, something that also happened last year.
Medical teams tracking the omicron strain of the virus said it still appears to be less severe than the delta variant, but that it spreads more easily.
Experts still advise that if you’re going to a large indoor public space, consider wearing a mask. And if you’re not feeling well and plan on visiting family, consider a test before getting together.
Meanwhile, leading country health experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci said that those fully vaccinated with two doses of the Covid-19 vaccines should consider getting the booter dose of the vaccines claiming that will by far increase the immunity battling the Omicron variant of the virus.