COVID-19 hospitalizations, active cases increase in Collin and Denton counties

Collin and Denton counties have reported 27 and 36 COVID-19 related deaths since Thanksgiving. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Collin and Denton counties have reported 27 and 36 COVID-19 related deaths since Thanksgiving. (Community Impact Newspaper)

Collin and Denton counties have reported 27 and 36 COVID-19 related deaths since Thanksgiving. (Community Impact Newspaper)

Editor’s note: This is the latest information reported by Collin County, Denton County and the state of Texas through their dashboards.

As of Dec. 21, there are only eight available intensive care unit beds left in Denton County.

Since Thanksgiving, 36 residents of Denton County and 27 residents of Collin County who were confirmed to have COVID-19 have died, according to the latest data.

COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased in North Texas since Thanksgiving gatherings. Since Thanksgiving Day, the percentage of COVID-19 patients occupying hospital beds in Collin County has increased nearly 60%. In Denton County, that number has increased 9.4%.

Collin County had 3,851 active cases of COVID-19 as of Dec. 21, 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 162%.

In Denton County, the number of active cases was estimated to be 5,442 on Nov. 27, the day after Thanksgiving.

The number of active cases in the county has more than doubled since then, with an estimated 11,328 active cases of COVID-19 on Dec. 21, according to county data. That is about a 108% increase for Denton County.

The seven-day average of daily confirmed cases was 589 in Collin County between Dec. 11-21. The previous seven days saw an average daily confirmed case count of 444, according to the data. The latest numbers show Collin County has had 37,007 total confirmed cases so far this year.

In Denton County, there were 523 average daily confirmed cases between Dec. 5-11. During the previous seven-day period, there were 424 average daily confirmed cases in Denton County. There have been 35,030 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 nearly 60% since Thanksgiving. As of Dec. 21, COVID-19 patients account for 15% of hospitalized patients in Collin County and 17% 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.

In Texas, there were 8,107 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported Dec. 21, bringing the total since March to 1,413,684, according to the state's dashboard.
By Francesca D' Annunzio
Francesca D'Annunzio covers K-12 and higher education, development, planning and zoning, and transportation in Frisco and McKinney. She attended college at the University of Texas at Austin, where she reported for the Daily Texan and interned for the Austin Chronicle. When she's not reporting, she enjoys spending time outdoors and experimenting in the kitchen.