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‘Encouraging signs’ as North Texas leaders hope to avoid COVID-19 outbreak in fall – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth


DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – “Encouraged and cautiously optimistic,” is the message from the Dallas nonprofit which uses data to track Covid-19 infections, vaccinations and overall risk in our community.

Currently, hospitalizations and infections are moving in the right direction.

“We have seen a decrease of over 25% in the number of cases,” says Steve Miff, CEO of the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation, “so all of these signs are encouraging. “

The nonprofit PCCI uses data to track the impact of the pandemic: everything from infections to vaccinations, to increased risk of poor outcomes due to poverty or lack of access to healthcare. health.

Miff says vaccinations combined with recoveries from Covid-19 are bringing Dallas County closer and closer to what was once called “normal,” perhaps by the end of the year.

“We’re about 84% towards collective immunity,” says Miff. “We are making about a percentage of progress per week. At the current rate, and we know based on what we’ve learned from Delta, that we will need to hit the upper 90s for it to really reach a point where we can feel really good that the pandemic is under control. “

Although the unvaccinated remain vulnerable, experts say they are encouraged by the downward trend in hospitalizations and infections.

These advances are especially important after returning to school in person and at events that draw large crowds, like the State Fair of Texas.

“We are making progress,” says Miff, “every day, getting closer and closer, but I hope we make progress as quickly as possible, so that we don’t give the virus another chance to mutate. “

The encouragement therefore comes with a caveat: researchers and doctors are worried about the potential for another peak in Covid-19 in the fall.

“Fall is a hotbed for all airborne illnesses,” says Dr. Jay Herd, Chief Medical Officer, Baylor Scott & White All Saints Fort Worth, “plus it’s a holiday period: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. They are indoors and it is difficult to hide when we are surrounded by friends and family.

Experts continue to encourage vaccines as the best way to get back to what matters safely.

“We should, as much as possible, get on with our lives,” says Miff, “but do it in a smart way.”