DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Following days of decreased numbers in new COVID-19 cases, Dallas County has announced it is moving its risk level for the virus down from red to orange, which loosens some recommendations on restrictions.
County Judge Clay Jenkins said Wednesday the decision comes after public health leaders and doctors “unanimously” agreed it was okay to move the risk level down.
The county continues to see a lower daily number of new cases compared to earlier in the summer. The county has also been reporting cases coming from backlogs in the state’s reporting system.
Jenkins said although the risk level has moved down a notch, residents should still continue to wear face masks or coverings and practice social distancing when possible. However, some recommendations can be loosened such as gatherings and leaving homes.
According to Jenkins, activities such as dining at restaurants or shopping for non-essentials, along with gatherings of 10 or less people, can be considered by residents under the orange level.
Other activities include religious services of groups of 10 or less can be considered and even going to movie theaters with 25% occupancy.
Jenkins also said schools in the county can reopen but with certain restrictions and for certain grade levels.
The orange level allows for schools to reopen for students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, special education students and those who may not have Internet access for virtual learning.
“However, the doctors strongly discourage in-person learning at this time for grades six through 12 until we reach yellow or green,” Jenkins said.
Dallas ISD will be starting school on Sept. 8 with the first four weeks being online learning only.
“Residents and businesses should continue to be disciplined and follow and encourage and enforce the three W’s. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. And watch your distance,” Jenkins said.
Dallas County currently has 72,252 total confirmed cases of COVID-19, along with 920 deaths to the virus.
Jenkins stressed that residents should continue mask wearing and social distancing practices especially during the Labor Day weekend. He said the area saw spikes in cases after Easter and after Memorial Day. However, he added that residents did a better job at containing the spread during July 4.