Tracking COVID-19: Hospitalizations in North Texas falling

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

Here are the latest COVID-19 data updates 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.

Just over 3% of North Texas hospital beds were filled with COVID-19 patients March 8.

The 3.17% total is a nearly 80% decrease in the percentage of hospital beds in Trauma Service Area E occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients since Feb. 8, 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 Feb. 8 total was 15.89% of hospital beds occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients.

According to data from DSHS, there were 2,483 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals as of March 8, which is a more than 73% decrease from the 9,317 patients Feb. 8.

The Collin County dashboard lists 100 hospitalized COVID-19 patients out of the county’s 2,702-hospital-bed capacity as of March 9. The Denton County dashboard showed it had nearly 4% of its available beds filled by COVID-19 patients as of March 9.

As of that date, there have been 281 total cases reported in Denton County’s portion of Plano, according to the Denton County dashboard. All but 35 of those cases have been classified as recovered, the dashboard shows.

Juan Rodriguez, Denton County’s public health department assistant director, said during the week of Feb. 20-26 the county reported 221 new cases of COVID-19.

“Just in a matter of six weeks we’ve gone from 15,000 to 221, which is just amazing,” he said. “We don’t expect that number to grow very much.”

In Collin County, there have been 156,409 confirmed cases and 1,456 deaths, according to the DSHS dashboard. In Denton County, 177,370 were confirmed to have had the virus as of March 9, and 797 were confirmed dead. The Denton County dashboard listed 26,941 cases as active March 9.

More than 62% 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 80% as of Feb. 28. The 75023 ZIP code has the lowest percentage with more than 62% of the estimated population listed as fully vaccinated.

Nearly 72% of Collin County residents age 5 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of March 9, according to the DSHS COVID-19 vaccination dashboard. In Denton County, that number sits at more than 65%.

The dashboard shows a combined estimate of more than 1.2 million people in the two counties are reported as being fully vaccinated. Nearly 43 million doses have been administered across Texas, and more than 17 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
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.