Number of COVID-19 cases on the rise in Tarrant, Denton counties

Here is what you need to know today about the coronavirus in Gilbert. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Here is what you need to know today about the coronavirus in Gilbert. (Community Impact Newspaper)

Here is what you need to know today about the coronavirus in Gilbert. (Community Impact Newspaper)

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

As of Nov. 10, the level of community spread of the coronavirus remains "substantial" in Tarrant County, according to public health officials.

Tarrant County Public Health has confirmed 925 new coronavirus cases in the county in the past 24 hours.

Since public health officials began tracking the virus in mid-March, a total of 76,086 cases have been confirmed in Tarrant County, including 768 deaths and 58,275 patients who have recovered.

Among ZIP codes in north Tarrant County, ZIP code 76244 has the greatest number of new cases, with 635 reported between Oct. 15-Nov. 10. That brings the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in that ZIP code to 1,887, which represents a rate of 833 cases per 100,000 residents during the past 30 days.

The ZIP code with the second-highest number of new cases reported during that same time was 76051, with 407 new cases for a 30-day rate of 766 cases per 100,000 residents. There is now a total of 1,347 cases confirmed in ZIP code 76051.

The ZIP code with the third-highest number of new cases reported was 76248, with 307 new cases since Oct. 15. There are now 1,072 total cases in that ZIP code, which represents a 30-day rate of 772 cases per 100,000 residents.

During that same time period, ZIP code 76034 has seen 237 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 712 cases and a 30-day case rate of 900 per 100,000 residents.

Elsewhere in north Tarrant County, ZIP code 76092 has seen 187 new cases during that same time for a 30-day rate of 620 cases per 100,000 residents. There is now a total of 781 cases confirmed in that ZIP code.

In addition, 154 new cases have been confirmed in ZIP code 76177 since Oct. 15 for a total of 459 cases in that ZIP code. The 30-day case rate in ZIP code 76177 is 1,859 cases per 100,000 residents.

The next-highest number of new cases during that time was recorded in ZIP code 76262, with 117. According to Denton County Public Health, there is a total of 505 confirmed cases in ZIP code 76262, including 405 patients who have recovered. In the city of Roanoke, officials have confirmed 177 total cases of COVID-19, including 144 patients who have recovered. Since Oct. 15, there have been 39 new cases confirmed in the city.

According to Denton County Public Health Director Matt Richardson, without proper preparations, gatherings such as the one his family is planning could turn Thanksgiving into “a superspreader holiday” in the county and beyond. The number of known active cases of COVID-19 in Denton County has hit its highest mark of the pandemic so far. More than 3,400 residents were known to have the virus as of Nov. 9, according to the county’s coronavirus dashboard.

The numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 are partly dependent upon the number of tests administered, which is why the state tracks positivity rate as one of its key indicators.
The state's weekly positivity rate hit a record high of 24% as of Aug. 11 but was down to closer to 9% as of Nov. 2. The rate is averaged over the previous seven days and calculates the ratio of new cases compared with the number of tests conducted.

As of Nov. 7, the positivity rate in Tarrant County was roughly 15%. Gov. Greg Abbott has previously said a rate of 10% or more is cause for concern. Here is a look at the rate since early April.

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said the county is looking at the total number of COVID-19 patients within the hospital as a percentage of the total beds within the hospital rather than the percentage of all the beds that are occupied.

"I talk with the hospital CEOs on a regular basis," Whitley said. "They have said a couple of things. One, their [total] percentage of COVID-19 patients is not as high now as it was near the end of July. So they still feel very comfortable that the hospitals will stay open. Number two, they said we have learned a lot about how to manage and how to treat this now. As a result of that, they feel much more comfortable about the process."

As of Nov. 10, 16% of all occupied beds in Tarrant County were being used by COVID-19 patients, a number that has been steadily increasing since September. Tarrant County is also part of Trauma Service Area E. The COVID-19 hospitalization rate of the area is what determines whether a county qualifies to reopen establishments, such as bars.

As of Nov. 8, the hospitalization rate for the region was 10.29%. Orders from Gov. Greg Abbott require hospitalization rates to remain under 15% for counties that have decreased restrictions for restaurants and bars.

Among the key indicators to watch, health experts have said, is the number of hospitalizations.

As of Nov. 10, Tarrant County health numbers indicate a total of 628 lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients are hospitalized in the county. According to TCPH, there are 250 occupied ventilators and 456 available ventilators in the county.

In Denton County, as of Nov. 10, there are 105 beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, according to Denton County Public Health. In addition, there are 84 ventilators occupied and 288 ventilators available within the county.

By Ian Pribanic
Ian Pribanic covers city government, transportation, business and education news for Community Impact Newspaper in the Keller-Roanoke-Northeast Fort Worth areas. A Washington D.C. native and University of North Texas graduate, Ian was previously an editor for papers in Oklahoma, West Texas and for Community Impact in New Braunfels.


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