As the holiday nears, Harris County has taken a major step in its response to the COVID/Omicron breakouts. The Harris County COVID-19 threat level has been raised back to Level 2: Orange, a move made amid the explosion of Omicron variant infections.
The county hasn’t been a Level 2 since November. County Judge Lina Hidalgo raised the level on the afternoon of Monday, December 20, explaining the move in a tweet:
I’m raising our COVID19 Threat Level to Level 2: Orange, because of rapid increases in cases & positivity rate. Due to explosive growth of Omicron, everyone eligible should get their booster, mask & get tested before gatherings. Unvaccinated ppl should minimize all contacts.
Hidalgo added: “Unfortunately, the omicron variant has arrived in Harris County in full force. These trends are understandably frustrating — especially as we close out the year with friends and family. But we can still blunt the force of this latest wave if we take action.
As we approach Christmas and New Year, consider giving yourself and your family the gift of health by getting your booster, getting tested before any gatherings of people outside of your household, and wearing a mask. It could very well save your life or that of a loved one.”
The county is also urging residents to wear a mask and get tested before attending holiday gatherings.
This local move comes as nationally, the Center for Disease Control reports that Omicron cases in the U.S. are doubling every two to three days, CultureMap news partner ABC13 notes. More information on the Harris County COVID threat level and where to vaccinated can be found here.