As the more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to infect more Texans, a Dallas County judge believes the state has provided no options to battle this growing concern.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins made the statements after a new report by the UT Southwestern claims that with the ongoing vaccination rate, they expect that around 800 to 1,000 hospitalizations caused by the Delta variant will be recorded in Dallas County by August 16.
If the projection is a reality, the regional hospitalizations by October will climb beyond 4,000, which was the peak number of COVID cases in January. Aside from the projection in Dallas County, the report also forecasts 1,100 to 2,000 hospitalizations in Tarrant County.
Jenkins said he expects these forecasts to happen.
Commenting on Governor Greg Abbott’s mask mandate ban, he said, “There’s not a lot cities and counties can do because our Governor has stripped cities and counties of the ability to do things that the CDC and the local doctors say would keep us safe, like requiring masks as our kids start back to school.”
Schools open later this summer, and Abbott said that it’s up to the parents of the children if they want to let their kids use masks at school.
Abbott’s reason for this is that the responsibility for health and safety protocols should already be shifted to Texans and not stay with the government through mandates. On this, Jenkins said, “Personal responsibility is a very important component of fighting a pandemic. But also government leadership that follows science is needed and unfortunately here in Texas is lacking.”
Jenkins continued to say that the only option they have in Dallas County is to reiterate the encouragement of wearing masks and let the community understand that they have to work together. He said that he hopes parents will work with the schools and send their children to educations institutions using masks.
He also emphasized that children 12 years old and above should get vaccinated because as the opening of the schools come to a close, “the more vaccinate people in the school setting, the better chance for everyone to have a close to normal school experience.”