North Texas – The trend of increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the last couple of weeks in the Dallas, Fort Worth area is starting to result with increasing number of hospitalizations.
The trend comes in the worst possible moment just ahead of the holiday travel season when many people are expected to travel in the upcoming period and gather with their families across the country.
Although more than 99% of the current cases are still Delta variant cases, with the fast-spreading Omicron variant found in two dozen states so far, the risk of potential of new Covid-19 in the period after the holidays is increasing.
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.
According to the most recent data provide by the local health officials, hospitalizations in Tarrant County have increased for 13% in the last two weeks. UT Southwestern Medical Center says Dallas County COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased by 6% in the past two weeks.
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.”
Two weeks ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci said to the public that showing a proof of vaccination or testing before the holiday gatherings would be a good idea. Although majority won’t agree with what he proposed, Huang encourages everyone to follow that practice if holiday family gatherings are a must.
“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.”
Despite the decent vaccination rate so far, 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.”