DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A nonprofit that maps COVID-19 hotspots says the data indicates residents of Dallas County are more vulnerable than ever to the virus.
Researchers warn that means what people do on Christmas and New Year’s could have dire consequences.
“We’re at a point as bad as we’ve ever been in this pandemic,” said Steve Miff, President and CEO of the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI).
The numbers show people in 75211, which covers Cockrell Hill and parts of Oak Cliff, are the most vulnerable to the virus.
The 75243 and 75228 zip codes aren’t far behind.
“What’s been really worrying is the jump we’ve seen over the past month for many zip codes, above the prior July peak,” Miff said.
The data indicates the increases are driven in part by high mobility levels during Thanksgiving. According to PCCI, people across Dallas County were out and about on the holiday as much as they were the previous year.
“What worries me is that with the hope of the vaccines, and some of the fatigue we’ve had as we’ve all dealt with this pandemic, is that we do not let our guard down over the coming holidays,” said Miff.
Especially, he added, since hospitals are already close to max capacity.
As of Wednesday, Dec. 23, there are 17 remaining ICU beds in Dallas County, which is the worst it’s been so far.
“This is what worries me the most, it’s the staffing,” said Stephen Love, the president and CEO of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council. “Even if you expand and have beds, you have to have the staff.”
Health officials urge people to continue to avoid large gatherings, to wear masks, and to practice social distancing through Christmas and New Year’s.
“Any surge beyond this, it’s going to be really difficult to manage,” said Miff.
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