DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — A big announcement overnight out of Dallas County.

In a unanimous decision, made by a public health committee consisting of an independent board of doctors and health experts, the COVID threat level in the county has been raised back to ‘red’ — the highest level possible.

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Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins released some concerning new numbers overnight showing that there’s been a 189% increase in cases in the past two weeks.

Jenkins said COVID-related hospitalizations in North Texas are also up more than 300% since the end of June.

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According to county guidance, the Red Threat Level indicates there is a high community risk for COVID transmission. It calls for everyone to wear masks or some type of face covering in public indoor settings.

COVID cases are soaring across North Texas, sending hospitalization rates to percentages the region hasn’t seen for months and according to a forecast from the UT Southwestern Medical Center the rising case levels are projected to continue climbing.

Dallas County hadn’t been at the red threat level since March.

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According to red level guidelines, vaccinated people should limit social gatherings and avoid places like bars, restaurants, and concert venues.

CBSDFW.com Staff