Denton County sees impact of omicron wave

Denton County Courthouse
Denton County hospitals has reported staff shortages because of the omicron COVID-19 wave. (Courtesy Denton County)

Denton County hospitals has reported staff shortages because of the omicron COVID-19 wave. (Courtesy Denton County)

Denton County hospitals are seeing the effects of the omicron surge, county Public Health Director Dr. Matt Richardson said.

“You are going to see lots and lots of cases of omicron in Denton County,” Richardson said during a Jan. 11 county commissioners meeting. “This is really starting to impact hospitals.”

At the hospital level, officials are seeing staff shortages and ICU beds are harder to staff, he said. In many cases, hospitals are seeing 20% absenteeism in staff.

This wave of the pandemic, like previous waves, has created an emergency room hold, which means there are no inpatient beds that are staffed available, and that creates long wait times, Richardson said. These wait times vary between hours and double-digit hours.

“This is the metric that is most concerning to us right now,” he said.


Positivity, the rate at which people test positive for COVID-19, is also up, Richardson said. Statewide, the omicron variant has a 36% positivity rate; that rate was at 20% during the delta wave.

One of the best ways to prevent serious illness caused by the virus is through vaccinations and boosters, he said. Information regarding vaccines can be found on the Denton County Public Health Department's 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.