DALLAS – There are some indications COVID-19 cases are beginning to rise again in North Texas.
Experts said it’s not cause for alarm, but is worth paying attention to in the coming weeks.
With COVID-19 mostly out of the headlines as of late, some say it’s worth keeping an eye on again.
While the relative lull in COVID-19 cases has been more than welcome, researchers and hospital officials are seeing some signs it’s spreading more in North Texas, including an early indicator like emergency department, or ED, visits.
“There’s not a reason to panic by any stretch, but it is important to be watchful because, while we’ve seen these increases in cases, it’s the first time in a while that we’ve also seen increases in ED arrivals. Only about 8% week over week,” said Dr. Steve Miff, CEO of Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation.
While drastically changing behavior may not be necessary, being more vigilant with testing because of any symptoms can help.
“Just be watchful, and if you experience symptoms, get tested,” Miff said. “Use the home test or go to one of the local facilities to get tested. That’s really important.”
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The DFW Hospital Council said COVID-19 hospitalizations are at about 175, the highest in six weeks.
However, that’s still far below the more than 4,000 hospitalized patients of the previous surge.
Miff said one concern is that there are many overdue for boosters, which are helpful in preventing hospitalization.
“We have over 70% of the Dallas County residents have been vaccinated, but there is a large number that are overdue for their booster shots. Over 875,000 people,” he said.
Meanwhile, there is news from the federal government this week on boosters for children.
The CDC signed off on a recommendation for children aged five to 11 to get boosted.
“It’s what we need because cases are going up,” said Dawn Moshier, who is a pharmacist and advocate for children getting vaccinated.
Nationwide, only about 30% of children aged 5-11 are vaccinated.
But Moshier said she’s already had demand from patients.
“Well, all these kids right now are going to be going to summer camps, so then we’re going to have our mass spreaders, so now is the time to vaccinate,” Moshier explained,