Tracking COVID-19: the rise and decline of the omicron variant in Denton County

The spike and decline of the omicron variant in Denton County. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
The spike and decline of the omicron variant in Denton County. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

The spike and decline of the omicron variant in Denton County. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Here is a timeline of Community Impact Newspaper's coverage of the surge and decline of the omicron variant of COVID-19 in Denton County.

Dec. 14, 2021: Denton County sees its first omicron variant case

The first case of the omicron variant was reported on Dec. 13 in Denton County. Dr. Matt Richardson, the county’s public health director, said prevention was key with omicron. Early studies showed that three doses of current COVID-19 vaccines were effective against the variant.

Jan. 3-6, 2022: Denton County sees rise in omicron cases

From Jan. 3-6, the health department reported 2,949 COVID-19 cases, according to county data, with cases rising more among younger populations. The test positivity rate had increased since October. The positivity rate was 35%, which was up from the 5% seen in October 2021, and hospitalization increased to 17.5%.

Jan. 6, 2022: Hospitalizations continue to rise in North Texas

As of Jan. 6, there were 118,518 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 765 deaths. The Denton County dashboard listed 8,291 cases as active Jan. 6.

Jan. 11: Denton County sees impact of omicron wave

Across Texas, the positivity rate for omicron was at 36%, as compared to 20% for the delta wave of infections. Hospitals saw a 20% rate of absenteeism in staff, and the surge of cases put a hold on the emergency room.

Jan. 13: Hospitalizations continue to climb in Collin, Denton counties

As of Jan. 12, The Denton County dashboard showed it had more than 24% of its available beds filled by COVID-19 patients with 123,788 confirmed cases of the virus and 766 confirmed dead. The Denton County dashboard listed 12,967 cases as active Jan. 12.

Jan. 25: COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Denton County

“We continue to have a spike and a surge,” Richardson said during a Jan. 25 Denton County commissioners meeting. Richardson hoped cases would begin to decrease for the week of Jan. 9-15 but that was not the case, he said. As of Jan. 25, 7,724 cases had been reported for the week.

Feb. 1: Denton County reports decrease in COVID-19 cases after omicron surge

“We think we have turned the corner a little bit,” Richardson said during a Feb. 1 county commissioners meeting. The number of reported cases decreased from 13,500 during the week of Jan. 10-15, to under 10,000 cases during the week of Jan. 16-22. The county also saw a decrease in the positivity rate with the rate dropping to below 30%.

Feb. 15: Denton County continues to see drop in COVID-19 cases

Juan Rodriguez, the county’s public health department assistant director, said the number of reported cases dropped from 13,500 during the week of Jan. 10-15 to nearly 2,300 for the week ending Feb. 5. The positivity rate also decreased in the county and statewide, Rodriguez said. The positivity rate decreased to 13%. Previously that rate reached more than 30%.

By Summer El-Shahawy
Summer El-Shahawy joined Community Impact Newspaper as the Frisco/McKinney Multi-Platform Journalist in January 2022. Her experience includes working as a Features Writer with The Idle Class Magazine and as a News Reporter with The Arkansas Traveler. She is a Plano native and 2020 graduate of The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.