Denton County sees 3-week increase in COVID-19 cases

Man talks at a podium
Dr. Matt Richardson, Denton County Public Health director, discusses COVID-19 cases in the county and the newest variant of the virus called omicron. (Courtesy Denton County)

Dr. Matt Richardson, Denton County Public Health director, discusses COVID-19 cases in the county and the newest variant of the virus called omicron. (Courtesy Denton County)

Denton County saw an increase in the onset of illness for COVID-19 over the past three weeks, said Dr. Matt Richardson, Denton County Public Health director.

The onset of illness is not necessarily when the county reports COVID-19 cases, Richardson said during a Nov. 30 Denton County Commissioners meeting. COVID-19 case counts are delayed, and the county continues to report cases of people who became sick in the last week of October, Richardson said.

"This is the weeks in which people became ill," he said. "It's not when we report, but it's when they actually became sick."

Richardson projected the trend to continue to a fourth week.

The Denton County Public Health Department reported 212 new COVID-19 cases, according to a Nov. 30 news release. The new cases bring the countywide total to 110,970.


About 720 COVID-19 cases were reported the week of Nov. 1, according to public health department data.

The week of Nov. 8 saw 698 COVID-19 cases. About 847 cases were reported the week of Nov. 15. Thanksgiving week saw 468 COVID-19 cases with three days of reporting, according to public health data. Cases will continued to be added from these weeks, Richardson said.

“It’s nothing like it was last Christmas and last Thanksgiving, but it’s very different than the summer,” Richardson said. “Unfortunately, we believe this is going to continue.”

Richardson said he predicts this upcoming week’s COVID-19 totals will eclipse those of the previous three weeks. Among the new cases, Richardson said the county health department has seen an uptick in pediatric cases as well.

Hospitalization rates are also on the rise in the county, Richardson said. There are plenty of beds available, but the rates continue to trend upward. In total, Denton County hospitals have 126 available inpatient beds and six intensive care unit beds, according to the latest data.

That growing hospitalization rate could cause problems during the holidays, when hospitals are harder to staff and the cold and flu season is underway, Richardson said.

“This is going to squeeze our hospital staff,” he said. “This is an issue.”

Five Denton County residents died related to COVID-19, which brings the county total to 743, according to the public health release.

The predominant strand of the virus is still the delta variant, Richardson said. New reports are coming out though of a new variant called omicron. The variant has been listed as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization. There are no reports of it in the U.S. or Denton County at this time, Richardson said. But he said he believes the strand is already in the state and the county.

The best way to combat the virus is through vaccinations, Richardson said. As of Nov. 29, 208,243 people had received the first dose of the vaccine in the county, according to the public health department. More than 198,000 Denton County residents had received their second dose, and 25,672 had received their booster.

Vaccination sites and clinics can be found on the Denton County Public Health Department website.
By Samantha Douty
Samantha Douty joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2021 as the Lewisville/ Flower Mound/ Highland Village editor. She graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2018 with a degree in journalism. But her passion for journalism started when she was 16 years old. Before joining Community Impact Newspaper, she reported on education for the Victoria Advocate, a rural South Texas daily newspaper.