“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.
#COVID19 testing continues across Texas. There are over 2600 testing sites open today.
Find a site near you by visiting this interactive map: https://t.co/rbc52HSvKD
Wear A Mask
Wash Hands Often
Get Tested pic.twitter.com/GYmZIOydjW
— Texas Division of Emergency Management (@TDEM) December 28, 2020