The number of COVID-19 cases in Collin and Denton counties has generally been trending upward in recent weeks, according to data posted by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Collin County had 3,987 active cases of COVID-19 as of Dec. 11, according to state estimates. For comparison, on Nov. 5, the county's number of active cases was estimated to be 1,471. That is an increase of nearly 171%.
In Denton County, the number of active cases was estimated to be 3,556 on Nov. 11. That number has more than doubled since then, with an estimated 8,795 active cases of COVID-19 on Dec. 11 in Denton County, according to county data. That is about a 147% increase for Denton County.
The seven-day average of daily confirmed cases was 444 in Collin County between Dec. 5-11. The previous seven days saw an average daily confirmed case count of 421, according to the data. The latest numbers show Collin County has had 31,269 total confirmed cases so far this year.
In Denton County, there were 424 average daily confirmed cases between Dec. 5-11. During the previous seven-day period, there were 252 average daily confirmed cases in Denton County. There have been 29,463 total confirmed cases in Denton County since March, according to the county.
Since Thanksgiving, COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased significantly in Denton and Collin counties—enough to trigger ramped up restrictions.
Hospitalizations in Collin County have increased 35% since Thanksgiving. As of Dec. 11, COVID-19 patients account for nearly 13% of hospitalized patients in Collin County and 15.5% in Denton County.
Collin County’s COVID-19 dashboard lists only hospitalizations. The Collin County Commissioners Court voted 3-2 on Nov. 9 to remove most data—citing inaccuracies and a lack of confidence in the state’s numbers.
Previous data for any metric other than daily hospitalizations cannot be accessed retroactively through the county’s dashboard or through public information requests, according to Collin County Public Information Officer Tim Wyatt.
For nearly every day over the last two weeks, COVID-19 hospitalized patients accounted for more than 15% of total hospital capacity in Trauma Service Area E, which consists of 19 counties in North Texas.
Per an October executive order issued by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, municipal governments are required to tighten restrictions for most businesses if COVID-19 patients occupy 15% or more of the available hospital beds for seven consecutive days in a specific Trauma Service Area.
On Dec. 3, when Trauma Service Area E passed the 15% threshold for seven consecutive days, restaurants and most businesses were required to reduce capacity from 75% to 50% and bars were required to close. Businesses will be allowed to increase capacity once COVID-19 hospitalizations for the area are below 15% for seven days in a row.
Since Thanksgiving, 17 residents of Denton County and 18 residents of Collin County who were confirmed to have COVID-19 have died, according to the latest data.
In Texas, there were 11,523 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported Dec. 11, bringing the total since March to 1,307,878, according to the state's dashboard.