In fact, only a short while after issuing the notice, George also released a statement that despite being fully vaccinated and with a booster shot, he has tested positive for COVID. "This week my daughter came home for the Christmas holidays and began showing symptoms related to COVID. Out of caution, I decided to get tested for COVID. The test result was positive."
His decision to raise the threat level mirrors that of Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo who on Monday made the same change and for the same reasons: the rapid spread of the COVID variant Omicron. Shortly after that, Harris County made national news, reporting the first death of a person due to Omicron. It was an unvaccinated man in his 50s who'd had COVID previously and recovered.
According to a press release from the Fort Bend County judge's office: "On Tuesday, more than 1,000 new cases of COVID were identified. This is the highest single-day reporting since September."
With 6.5 percent of its hospitalizations due to COVID and 8.1 percent of its ICU patients diagnosed with COVID in Fort Bend, George determined this constitutes a significant risk to residents.
“Based on the highly transmissible Omicron variant it is reasonable to assume we will see our numbers go even higher. 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.”Despite testing positive for COVID, George said he has not experienced any symptoms of the virus. He is in isolation at home.