COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to climb in North Texas

“Hospitals are our last line of defense, and they are being stretched. Our healthcare heroes need your help,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement Dec. 28. (Community Impact staff)
“Hospitals are our last line of defense, and they are being stretched. Our healthcare heroes need your help,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement Dec. 28. (Community Impact staff)

“Hospitals are our last line of defense, and they are being stretched. Our healthcare heroes need your help,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement Dec. 28. (Community Impact staff)

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in North Texas continues to climb as some officials sound warnings about capacity.

“Our hospital and public health officials are extremely concerned about additional increases following the holidays,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a Dec. 28 statement. “Hospitals are our last line of defense, and they are being stretched. Our healthcare heroes need your help.”

Denton County reported a record number of hospitalizations after Christmas.

“We saw the highest COVID-19 inpatient hospital census on Sunday with 202 patients,” Denton County Judge Andy Eads said in a Dec. 28 news release. “We are asking everyone to continue practicing the safety measures of wearing masks, social distancing and washing hands.”

There are 19 counties in North Texas that make up Trauma Service Area E, where the percentage of patients hospitalized with the coronavirus has been climbing since late November. As of Dec. 28, the region’s hospitalization rate was higher than 23%.

That regional rate is what officials use to set capacity at businesses. Most businesses, including retailers, restaurants and offices, had to reduce their capacity and bars had to close when that rate exceeded 15% for seven days in a row in early December.


UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers provide COVID-19 analysis for the Dallas-Fort Worth region. Their most recent modeling as of Dec. 23 forecasts a 20% increase in hospitalizations in Dallas County by Jan. 5 and a 35% increase in Tarrant County during that same time frame.

The report notes that people being hospitalized now were likely infected about two weeks ago.



Jenkins asked people to continue to take precautions to reduce the spread of the virus.

“While this is traditionally a joyous time when we gather with our friends and families to celebrate and usher in the New Year,” he said in his statement, “we are in a very dangerous situation with COVID-19 in our county and region.”

The high number of hospitalizations comes as the coronavirus vaccine is being delivered to front-line health care workers. The Texas Department of State Health Services provides updated information about the vaccine rollout on its website.

The Texas Division of Emergency Management has put together an interactive map with more than 2,600 sites that offer COVID-19 testing. Visit http://covidtest.tdem.texas.gov to find a testing site.


By Valerie Wigglesworth
Valerie has been a journalist for more than 30 years. She is currently managing editor for DFW Metro for Community Impact Newspaper.


MOST RECENT

Federal funding is set aside for public schools to address effects of the pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Why Texas has not yet distributed $18 billion in federal funds intended for public schools

As budget decisions loom for school districts across Texas, state leaders are holding on to federal funds intended for public schools to use in addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said power outages are not expected April 13, while requesting energy conservation. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATE: ERCOT call for energy conservation ends April 13 without need for power outages

An ERCOT official said "tight" supply and demand conditions arose on the state's electric grid April 13 due to forecasting issues amid planned, seasonal maintenance outages by some power generators.

construction zone
Tarrant County still deciding how to choose projects to include in upcoming transportation bond

April 16 is the deadline for Tarrant County municipalities to submit project ideas for the $400 million transportation bond measure that voters will consider in November.

vaccine administered
COVID-19 update: Tarrant County vaccine appointments canceled at last minute

Residents scheduled to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at AT&T Stadium April 13 received last-minute notice that their appointments were canceled, according to a Tarrant County briefing.

The chain has several restaurants in Texas, including two in College Station. (Courtesy I Heart Mac & Cheese)
I Heart Mac & Cheese coming to Highland Village; Gyro Shop opens in Frisco and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended health providers pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine April 13. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
State, federal health authorities recommend pause of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after 6 rare, severe blood clots

Hub providers in Dallas, Harris and Travis counties have all announced they will follow the recommendations and pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Grapevine looks to build on its local esports community

Efforts include the expansion of GCISD's esports program to middle schools this fall, along with the opening of an Esports Academy this summer at the local library.

hand dropping voter ballot into box
Voters prepare for local May elections in Grapevine, Colleyville and Southlake

Races on the ballot will include mayoral races for Grapevine and Southlake, city council races for all three cities, and school board seats for Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and Carroll ISD.

plate of food
Tarrant Area Food Bank, Culinary School of Fort Worth launch new apprenticeship program

A new food industry job-readiness program in partnership with the Tarrant Area Food Bank and Culinary School of Fort Worth is launching.

Dunkin' serves coffee drinks, doughnuts, breakfast sandwiches, muffins and more. (Courtesy Dunkin')
Dunkin' to open in Richardson; Mad for Chicken coming to McKinney and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

plate of food
Lucy's Lot closes after serving Grapevine for six years

After six years in Grapevine, Lucy's Lot closed in late March.

man sitting at table
Southlake entrepreneur services small-business IT needs through Computer CPR

Michael Young, founder of Computer CPR, shared some tips to protect yourself and your online data from hackers and malware.