Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Denton County reached a new all-time high Aug. 30, with confirmed cases representing 28.7% of all hospitalizations, according to the Denton County Public Health Department.

The previous pandemic high for in-patient occupancy was 26.9% on Dec. 27, the county reported.

Dr. Matt Richardson, director of public health, told Denton County commissioners during their Aug. 31 meeting that the community must continue to take precautions to keep healthy.

“Our defense has got to be vaccinations and masks,” Richardson said.

The number of active cases continues to rise as well. There were 10,826 active cases reported in Denton County on Aug. 31. That compares to 3,120 active cases July 30, data showed.

The county continues to give out first, second and third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. In the last seven days, Denton County has administered 76 first doses, 88 second doses and 249 third doses.

Only those who qualify as immunocompromised can receive a third dose of the vaccination, Richardson said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have not yet authorized COVID-19 booster shots, which would be given to those who are not considered immunocompromised. However, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services plans to begin offering boosters in the fall, pending approval by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Richardson said.

He reported that the Denton County COVID-19 ISD Dashboard is now up and running. The dashboard currently shows data on student and staff COVID-19 cases voluntarily provided by Krum, Pilot Point, Ponder and Frisco ISDs.

Denton County’s dashboard will provide data each day vs. the once-a-week postings from the Texas Education Agency’s dashboard, Richardson said.

“We’re hoping to get information into the hands of parents and decision makers more quickly,” Richardson said.

On Aug. 30, the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council reported 3,348 COVID-19 patients in hospitals in the 19-county region known as Trauma Service Area E. The council also reported more than 50% of adult ICU patients in that region were confirmed to have coronavirus, according to the council.

More information on vaccination sites and eligibility is available here. An interactive map of available testing sites in Denton County and the surrounding area is available here.