COVID-19 cases and hospitalization rates continue to trend downward in Denton County as vaccination efforts ramp up, according to Matt Richardson, Denton County director of public health.

In a presentation to the Commissioners Court on April 13, Richardson said there has been a decrease in reported cases. As of April 12, Denton County reported 453 new cases for the week compared to just under 500 cases the week prior, according to Richardson.

“As I've mentioned for over a month now, we are seeing a slight improvement every week in COVID-19 transmission,” he said. “That is important to note, and I think that's something that has been on our prayer list for many, many months.”

The county’s hospitalization rate has also been trending downward. While the daily percentage of COVID-19 patients in Denton County hospitals is still slightly above the regional daily percentage, it is still declining on a weekly basis, he said.

According to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard, the daily hospitalization rate has decreased from 5% last week to 4%. The daily percentage as of April 12 was 3.4%.

While case numbers improve, vaccination efforts are being maximized. Almost half a million individuals have signed up for the county’s vaccine waitlist. Richardson announced that on April 9, the county had administered over 300,000 doses of the vaccine. About 28,000 individuals on the waitlist have not yet received an appointment time for their vaccine.

“[It] is quite an achievement for the county with a population of 880,000. So we're very proud of that effort and proud of the community, proud of the volunteers, but we are not stopping,” Richardson said.

Vaccination clinics are still ongoing in Denton County with three hosted this week. On April 14 and 16, a clinic will be held at the Texas Motor Speedway for individuals to receive their second doses of the Pfizer vaccine. A first dose clinic will be held April 17, also at Texas Motor Speedway.

Those interested in joining the vaccine waitlist can sign up here.

Richardson told the Commissioners Court about the current halt on the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six cases of blood clots were found in women who had received the vaccine. He said Denton County has not had any Johnson & Johnson vaccines and has only been administering Pfizer and occasionally Moderna vaccines.