Fort Bend County Judge KP George announced Wednesday that he is raising the county’s COVID risk level from yellow — moderate risk — to orange — significant risk — in response to the growing number of new COVID-19 confirmed cases and hospitalizations in the county.

In its latest risk assessment, the Fort Bend County Health Authority acknowledged a surge in COVID positive cases and the increasing presence of the highly transmittable Omicron variant in Fort Bend County.

On Tuesday, more than 1,000 new cases of COVID were identified, George reported. This is the highest single-day reporting since September, county officials said.

The metrics that the county uses to determine the movement of the risk level are based on a 7-day trend in daily COVID cases, a 7-day trend in daily hospital patients who have COVID-19, and the percentage of ICU patients who have COVID-19.

According to data collected from Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council Fort Bend is reporting 6.5% hospitalizations from COVID and 8.1% of ICU patients diagnosed with COVID.

“Based on the highly transmissible Omicron variant it is reasonable to assume we will see our numbers go even higher,” George said.

“On the advisement of our health authority and our local medical partners, I believe that the information we received indicates that a change from yellow to orange is necessary and will signal that our residents should be more cautious during the holidays, as they spend time with friends and family, to prevent the spread of severe illness in our high-risk communities and our hospitals from being overwhelmed.”

Level Orange indicates a high/moderate potential for exposure to known or suspected sources of COVID19.

County officials urge residents to minimize contact with unvaccinated people and those at high risk for severe disease, avoid crowded gatherings where vaccination status is unknown, practice physical distancing, wash hands frequently, stay home when ill, and use face coverings.

The county encourages residents to get tested at the various testing sites.

All the sites are open to residents of Fort Bend County.

Vaccination is the best thing you can do to protect yourself and others against COVID-19. For the latest updates on coronavirus information and assistance in finding a testing or vaccination site, go to https://www.coronavirusfortbend.gov/.

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