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Dallas County Judge says the state has provided zero options to battle delta variant

If vaccination rates stay the same, the data projects regional hospitalizations by October to climb beyond the peak of 4,000 from January

DALLAS — A recently released UT Southwestern report projects 800 to 1,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations in Dallas County by Aug. 16 because of the more dangerous and transmissible Delta variant.

It also forecasts 1,100 – 2,000 hospitalizations in Tarrant County.  And if vaccination rates stay the same, the data projects regional hospitalizations by October to climb beyond the peak of 4,000 from January.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says he fully expects it all to happen.

“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,” Judge Jenkins said on Inside Texas Politics.

In a recently issued executive order, Gov. Greg Abbott prevents any state or local agency from mandating masks or requiring proof of vaccination. The order also applies to public or private groups receiving public funds.

RELATED: New order strips local officials' ability to set capacity limits amid high hospitalizations, stresses 'personal responsibility'

Jenkins says the main option they have left in Dallas County is to encourage masks and get the community to work together.  And he says it’s vital for everyone 12 and up to get vaccinated.

“As they go back to school, the more vaccinated people in the school setting, the better chance for everyone to have a close to normal school experience which we all want for our kids,” he said.

The Judge says he hopes parents will work with schools and mask their kids up before sending them to class.  But beyond asking Texans to act with personal responsibility, the Judge says he’s not heard of any plans from the state to combat the Delta variant.

“Personal responsibility is a very important component of fighting a pandemic,” explained the Judge.  “But also government leadership that follows science is needed and unfortunately here in Texas is lacking.

Watch his full interview on Inside Texas Politics below:

More from Inside Texas Politics.