Coronavirus

COVID-19 Spike in Dallas County Hits ‘Peak Numbers’ of Delta Wave

COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in Dallas County.
COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in Dallas County. Food and Drug Administration
The number of COVID-19 cases in Dallas County recently hit numbers that matched the “peak levels recorded during the Delta wave,” according to the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI).

As of July 1, the county was home to 5,487 positive cases, a 19.6% spike week over week, PCCI said in a press release Thursday.

Although the current swell in cases hasn’t reached the peak level of the highly contagious Omicron variant wave earlier this year, PCCI noted that hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions are on the uptick once again.

Around 63% of people in Dallas County are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. The national average is 66%.

This week, Dallas County raised its COVID-19 risk level to yellow for the first time in months.

In a letter to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, the county’s Public Health Committee said this week that the “primary driver” behind the spike in cases “is that much of our population remains unvaccinated, under vaccinated (have not received all doses) or unboosted with COVID-19 vaccine.”

“While Dallas County currently has lower COVID-19 case columns and hospitalization rates than reported in other waves, the acceleration in numbers of cases,” the letter added, “hospitalizations, employee absenteeism and the transmissibility of the current circulating strain is increasing the burden on the health of our residents and our health care system.”

In a Twitter post Wednesday, Jenkins said the University of Texas Southwestern expects “additional increases in hospitalizations” and encouraged county residents who aren’t already fully vaccinated or boosted to get their jabs.

Only around one in four in Dallas County have received at least three shots, PCCI said in Thursday’s release.

PCCI added that BA.4 and BA.5, both especially contagious subvariants of Omicron, are the main COVID-19 strains in North Texas at present.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic first struck in early 2020, Dallas County has recorded more than 600,000 cases and nearly 6,800 deaths.

At the same time, Dallas County Health and Human Services said this week that the county has its first locally transmitted case of monkeypox, a virus that causes rashes, lesions and other complications.

An out-of-state visitor who had attended the Daddyland Festival last weekend in Dallas contracted monkeypox and is now hospitalized, DCHHS said in a release. The previous four cases in the county were among men who had traveled internationally.

“People who attended the Daddyland Festival parties — including men who have sex with men, people who use social media applications to find sex partners, and those who have had skin-to-skin contact with people with sores or other symptoms of monkeypox — should be aware of their risk and seek medical attention if they develop symptoms,” DCHHS added.
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Patrick Strickland is the news editor at the Dallas Observer. He's a former senior reporter at Al Jazeera English and has reported for the New York Review of Books, The Guardian, Politico EU and The New Republic, among others.