DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Some places are becoming increasingly risky to visit because of a rise in COVID-19 cases, according to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
The county raised its COVID-19 threat level back to red — which recommends “Stay Home, Stay Safe” — this week as health officials brace for a possible spike in cases.READ MORE: North Texas Law Enforcement Disappointed In Gov. Abbott's Veto Of Domestic Violence Education Bill
Jenkins told CBS 11 News that doctors insist a spike may be coming and that hospitalizations from the virus have doubled in the past month. This led to raising the threat level and also led to a warning that residents should start avoiding places like shopping malls, restaurants, movie theaters, gyms and any places where large crowds gather.
“We’re definitely going in the wrong direction, so we want them to know that and take those good common sense steps now,” Jenkins said.
However, Jenkins said any future decisions to close businesses, if there’s a spike, would come solely from Gov. Greg Abbott.
The judge does insist that polling sites for early voting are safe.
“We set up the whole voting structure assuming we would be in the worst situation in the red,” he said.READ MORE: Dallas County DA Reverses Plans To Seek Death Penalty For Alleged Serial Killer Billy Chemirmir
He said voters who notice polling sites that aren’t adhering to mask and social distancing requirements should contact county officials.
County health officials on Thursday reported 537 more confirmed cases of COVID-19, along with one additional death. The totals in the county are now at 88,372 confirmed cases and 1,059 deaths.
The one additional death was a Dallas man in his 70s who was hospitalized and had underlying health conditions.
Some residents in Dallas County are seeing fatigue from COVID-19 as businesses continue to slowly reopen, including bars.
“I have not been to my church which the thing that is killing me, and I miss the most we found a couple of restaurants in town we feel really good at,” resident Lane Ogden said.MORE NEWS: 'New Personnel & Procedures, Insufficient Oversight' Led To Texas Execution Without Media Present
“I don’t think you can sacrifice 300 million people economically. We all need to live. We all need to work and I think there has to be a balance,” resident Martha Vogel said.