Dallas County Updates Guidelines as COVID Threat Level Moves to Red

This week, Dallas County health officials moved the county’s COVID-19 threat level to red — the most severe level of risk — because of an uptick in cases attributed to the highly contagious delta strain.

The color-coded threat level system is used as a guide for precautions health officials recommend Dallas County residents take. Four color levels are used to indicate the severity of restrictions: from least restrictive to most restrictive are green, yellow, orange, and red.

Dallas County health officials recently updated their guidance based on a person’s vaccination status. 

In the red threat level, health officials recommend that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, take precautions like social distancing and wearing a mask indoors. 

Health officials recommend vaccinated residents limit or avoid medium to large gatherings, while those who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or immunocompromised should completely avoid medium to large gatherings.

Further, they also suggest avoiding indoor settings with poor ventilation or places where masks cannot be worn at all times and utilize curbside and delivery services to minimize exposure. 

They also state that no matter your vaccination status, if you have been exposed to COVID-19, you still need to take a test three to five days after exposure and wear a mask for two weeks or until you receive a negative result.

Read more on the updated guidance from the Dallas Morning News here.

Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Administrative District Judge Maricela Moore issued an order that masks be worn in common areas of Dallas County courthouses, despite Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order banning vaccine requirements and mask mandates. 

The Texas Supreme Court also issued an order July 19 encouraging local administrative district judges to employ minimum standard health procedures for court participants and the public attending proceedings, which would be followed in both the courtroom and public areas within the court building, which Dallas attorney David Coale told the Dallas Morning News puts Moore’s order “on pretty solid footing.”

Read more here.

In response to rising COVID-19 cases and the threat level moving to red, Dallas County officials have taken additional measures to encourage people to get vaccinated. 

The Fair Park clinic will reopen and provide COVID-19 vaccination services from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays until Sept. 18. The Church of the Incarnation in Uptown will also provide immunizations for Meningitis, HPV, and whooping cough from 1 p.m to 3 p.m. on Aug. 14. They will also provide free dental screenings and physicals.

In other news:

  • People who had a potentially allergic reaction to the first dose of aessenger RNA COVID-19 vaccine can safely receive a second dose, according a study conducted by UT Southwestern and other medical centers. Read more here.
  • Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa is hosting a series of Community Conversations to talk with parents and community members about the district. The conversations are scheduled for almost every part of the district from August through April.

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