Omicron Cases Peak, Dallas County Requires COVID-19 Tests For Unvaccinated Employees, Elton John Cancels Dallas Shows After Testing Positive.
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas confirmed to NBC 5 at least three cases BA.2, a new variant of omicron.
BA.2 is also known as the “stealth omicron,” as it’s difficult to detect in PCR tests because of genetic traits. It’s still detectable as COVID, it just doesn’t look like omicron. It’s been found in at least 40 countries and is most common in Asia and Europe.
Scientists don’t know for sure whether it’s more or less contagious than the original omicron variant. They’re also not yet sure if someone who’s already had COVID-19 caused by omicron can get it again by BA.2, though they’re optimistic that a previous infection can lessen the severity of the symptoms if they contract BA.2.
The new current total of positive cases for Dallas County is 535,620. Additionally, the present death toll for Dallas County has increased to 5,751 by the incline of 5 new deaths in the past week according to Dallas County.
Here are the briefs for the week.
- As previously reported in the Dallas Morning News, Dallas County is finally reaching a peak of positive COVID-19 cases leading to a hopeful decline. Similar to what other major cities are experiencing, the Omicron variant follows a pattern due to its highly contagious nature. Essentially, the variant is continuously breaking all-time record highs for positive cases leading to a strain on the overworked hospital systems, only to decline quickly in merely a few weeks. Trends in case numbers lead the Dallas County Health and Human Services to believe it has peaked at 4,121 cases, and health professionals are optimistic about the recent Omicron surge coming to a close.
- Dallas County requires COVID-19 tests for unvaccinated employees. On January 25, Dallas County commissioners approved a new COVID-19 testing and sick leave policy. The new policy requires approximately 6,500 employees in Dallas County to receive a weekly PCR test, although fully vaccinated workers can opt-out. The health policy also gives fully vaccinated employees an extra two days of sick leave if they test positive for COVID-19. On the other hand, unvaccinated employees will not receive a chance for extra sick leave.
- Elton John cancels Dallas concerts after testing positive. The highly loved singer and pianist, Elton John, postponed his two farewell Dallas concerts due to a positive COVID-19 test. The “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” was set to take place at the American Airlines Center, but is now officially rescheduled for a later date that has not been determined.