City Hall

Mayor Eric Johnson Tests Positive For 'Breakthrough' COVID-19 Case

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson won't be at the City Council meeting this week because he has COVID-19.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson won't be at the City Council meeting this week because he has COVID-19. Brian Maschino
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson tested positive with a breakthrough case of COVID-19 on Tuesday. He said he is thankful that he’s fully vaccinated and only experiencing mild symptoms.

“I appreciate your thoughts and prayers on behalf of my family, and I look forward to a speedy recovery so I can get back to work with my colleagues on behalf of the people of Dallas,” Johnson said.

The mayor didn’t specify what symptoms he was experiencing.

Johnson said he started to feel sick late Monday. He promptly canceled events scheduled for Tuesday and notified his sons’ school in case he had the virus. “Now that I have confirmation of my status, I will be unable to preside over Wednesday's Dallas City Council meeting and will unfortunately have to miss other engagements this week,” Johnson said in the release.

"In addition, I want to take this opportunity to again encourage residents of Dallas to get vaccinated if they have not yet done so — and to receive a booster shot when they are eligible," the mayor said. "The vaccines have saved lives and can make breakthrough cases, like mine, far less severe."

His wife, Nikki, who is also vaccinated, tested negative, but the couple is still worried about their children who are not eligible to receive the vaccine. Both Pfizer and Moderna have said their vaccines are safe and effective for kids 5-11 years old.

The Food and Drug Administration backed the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for use in children on Tuesday. Seventeen members of an FDA panel said the benefits of the vaccine for children outweigh the risks, according to CBS. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must weigh in with its own recommendations before shots are rolled out to children.

Johnson got his first jab in January at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He said he was eligible then  because of an undisclosed underlying medical condition.

According to Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS), over 72% of the county’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. As of Oct. 25, DCHHS reported 205 additional positive COVID-19 cases. A total of 402,626 cases have been confirmed in the county.

In Dallas County, 4,946 residents have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic hit.

About 78% of new COVID-19 cases recorded two weeks ago were from Dallas County residents who were not fully vaccinated. To date, there have been 11,300 breakthrough cases of COVID-19 in fully vaccinated people. Of those, 528 were hospitalized and 123 died from the virus.
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Jacob Vaughn, a former Brookhaven College journalism student, has written for the Observer since 2018, first as clubs editor. More recently, he's been in the news section as a staff writer covering City Hall, the Dallas Police Department and whatever else editors throw his way.
Contact: Jacob Vaughn