Denton County hospitals on Nov. 13 reported that 13.2% of their beds were occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients, according to the county dashboard. The total number of coronavirus patients in hospitals, 112, was higher than any daily number reported in the county’s previous peak in July.
If the current trend is not reversed, in a matter of days or weeks, the trajectory of hospitalizations could trigger more restrictions on Denton County businesses.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott established in a previous executive order that counties with COVID-19 hospitalization rates above 15% for seven consecutive days would have to reduce business capacity to 50% and shut down bars, among other steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Denton County’s hospitalization rate rose from 10.4% to 13.2% in the past seven days as it continues its month-long upward trajectory.
County officials earlier this week expressed concern about the county’s hospitalization numbers and new infections, especially as the Thanksgiving holiday nears.
Public Health Director Matt Richardson said people who plan to gather for Thanksgiving this year should take extra precautions in the weeks before the holiday, distancing from others as much as possible, avoiding unnecessary gatherings and wearing masks in public.
“The more of that we can do, the safer Thanksgiving can be,” Richardson told county commissioners at their Nov. 10 meeting. “And if we fail, we’re going to have community spread throughout the nation.”