COVID-19 cases remain low in North Texas compared to summer delta surge

New coronavirus cases in North Texas have remained low compared to the surge from the delta variant in August and September. 

Health officials in the region are now waiting to see how the vaccine will fare against the new omicron variant. 

"I really think the next one month is going to be crucial in predicting quite a bit because we'll learn a lot more about Omicron," said Dr. Prathit Kulkarni, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Infection Diseases, Baylor College of Medicine.

While there are breakthrough cases among the vaccinated, those who are not vaccinated are more at risk.

"Of course, in the winter time people are indoors, there's of course, there is a general risk for increased transmission. So you may see some potential rise in cases and therefore hospitalizations and deaths," Kulkarni said.

RELATED: First Texas omicron variant case confirmed in Houston area

In Dallas County, weekly vaccinations have seen a noticeable increase, officials said. Statewide, the Texas Department of State Health Services reports 60 percent of Texans ages 5 and up are fully vaccinated. 

Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa announced Friday the district would make masks optional after the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. The district has defied Gov. Greg Abbott's ban on masks mandates for months. 

Some parents at Rogers Elementary School in North Dallas told FOX4 they aren’t sure if they will tell their children to stop wearing masks in the classroom. 

"We are going to focus on what the CDC recommends. Our oldest are vaccinated, so the hope is the majority of the other kids will get vaccinated so we don’t have to worry about it," said James Barrett.

"I am going to still have them wear a mask because we don’t know, so it’s not safe," said Brenda Mendez.

The first case of the latest variant of COVID-19, omicron, was reported on Monday in Texas. Harris County says a Houston area woman in her 40's with no recent travel history tested positive.

Texas is now among at least 18 states with reported cases.


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