Dallas County officials raised the Coronavirus threat level from “Orange” back to “Red” on Wednesday Oct. 14.
The threat level was lowered to “Orange” in September, just days before the Labor Day holiday, but the Public Health Committee recommended officials raise the level back to red after a continual increase in cases.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins repeatedly warned continued upward trends in Coronavirus cases would lead to a return to red.
Dallas County reported 454 cases on Oct. 14 for a cumulative total of 87,835 cases. The decision was then made to raise the threat level.
“Today we see another high number of new COVID-19 cases with the numbers today being 454 confirmed cases and 50 probable cases for a total of 504 additional cases.” Jenkins said in a press release issued Oct. 14. “The increase in hospitalizations, and new COVID-19 positive cases, as well as other metrics like the R-naught factor being above 1 for several weeks, has led the Public Health Committee to recommended a return to ‘Red’ on our color-coded chart.
The R-naught factor is a mathematical term indicating how contagious an infectious disease is. The R-naught equaling one means each existing infection will likely cause a new infection. The R-naught being higher than one means each infection causes multiple infections leading to an outbreak or pandemic.
The color-coded chart indicating the COVID-19 threat level is not intended to tell citizens what is legal, but rather what is safe.
Voting will not be affected by the “Red” threat level. According to Jenkins, there have been no known cases attributed to voting activities during both elections in Dallas County, a primary and a run-off, during the pandemic. Jenkins believes this is due to the measure at which Dallas County poling locations have gone through to keep voters safe.
“We must reverse the trend now while we have pleasant weather outside and an opportunity to do activities outside,” Jenkins said. “We know that when people are forced inside with COVID-19, such as when it gets too cold for people to enjoy the outdoors later in the winter, the change for spread increases due to the poor circulation of indoor air and there’s less sunlight to kill virus remnants left on handles and other surfaces.”
The provisional 7-day average increased from week 39, 346 cases, to 374 cases in week 40. Of the cases requiring hospitalization, more than two-thirds have been under 65 years of age.
For more information please visit dallascounty.org/covid-19/.
From Staff Reports • [email protected]