Tracking COVID-19: Hospitalizations continue to climb in Collin, Denton counties

Here is the latest COVID-19 data update from Collin and Denton counties. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Here is the latest COVID-19 data update from Collin and Denton counties. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Here is the latest COVID-19 data update from Collin and Denton counties. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Editor’s note: This is the latest information reported by Collin County, Denton County, Plano ISD and the state of Texas through their public reports and dashboards.

More than 23% of North Texas hospital beds were filled with COVID-19 patients on Jan. 11.

The 23.54% total is a more than 118% increase in the percentage of hospital beds in Trauma Service Area E occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients since Dec. 29, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services dashboard. The trauma service area consists of 19 counties in North Texas, including Collin and Denton counties.

The Dec. 29 total was 10.79% of hospital beds occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients.

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.

According to data from DSHS, there were 11,571 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals as of Jan. 12, which is a more than 272% increase from the 3,110 patients reported Dec. 5.

The Collin County dashboard lists 517 hospitalized COVID-19 patients out of the county’s 2,702-hospital-bed capacity as of Jan. 12. The Denton County dashboard showed it had more than 24% of its available beds filled by COVID-19 patients as of Jan. 12.

Collin County announced in August 2020 that it would no longer report city-specific coronavirus information. Plano stopped providing city-specific COVID-19 information July 1. As of Jan. 12, there have been 236 total cases reported in Denton County’s portion of Plano, according to the Denton County dashboard. All but 25 of those cases have been classified as recovered, the dashboard shows.

In Collin County, there have been 129,221 confirmed cases and 1,233 deaths, though 23,893 cases are estimated as active as of Jan. 12 on the DSHS dashboard. In Denton County, 123,788 were confirmed to have had the virus as of Jan. 12, and 766 were confirmed dead. The Denton County dashboard listed 12,967 cases as active Jan. 12.

In Plano ISD, 1,528 students and 158 employees were listed with current cases, according to the district’s dashboard, which was last updated Jan. 12. Those totals amount to 3.1% of district students and 3.04% of staff members, according to the dashboard.

More than 60% of the estimated population in all six of the main ZIP codes in Plano have been fully vaccinated, according to totals from DSHS.

The 75024 ZIP code has the highest percentage of fully vaccinated residents with nearly 78% as of Jan. 10. The 75023 ZIP code has the lowest percentage with more than 60% of the estimated population listed as fully vaccinated.

More than 79% of Collin County residents age 5 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Jan. 12, according to the DSHS COVID-19 vaccination dashboard. In Denton County, that number sits at nearly 72%.

The dashboard shows a combined estimate of nearly 1.2 million people in the two counties are reported as being fully vaccinated. More than 40 million doses have been administered across Texas, and more than 16.6 million people have been fully vaccinated since manufacturers began shipping vials to the state in December 2020, according to the DSHS dashboard.

COVID-19 testing continues to be available throughout North Texas. In Plano, there are numerous test sites that offer both drive-thru and walk-in appointments through local pharmacies and clinics. An interactive map of the available testing sites in Plano and the surrounding area can be found at this link.

COVID-19 tests are available at no cost nationwide at health centers and select pharmacies due to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, including for those who do not have insurance.

Appointments are required for most COVID-19 testing sites.

Information about the COVID-19 vaccine and where to get vaccinated is available at Collin County Health Care Services announced the creation of mobile vaccination teams in July. Residents can request appointments for the free shots. Denton County Public Health has an interest portal for vaccines on its webpage and allows individuals to schedule appointments.
By William C. Wadsack

Editor, Plano

William joined Community Impact Newspaper in December 2019. He previously served as managing editor of several daily and weekly publications in North Texas and his native state of Louisiana.