Denton County Public Health announced this week that one more county resident has died as a result of COVID-19, bringing the countywide COVID-19 death toll to 631.
The death reported Thursday was a Denton man in his 50s.
“As we announce the death of one additional Denton County community member due to COVID-19, we ask you to keep this individual’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers,” said Denton County Judge Andy Eads.
DCPH Director Dr. Matt Richardson has said multiple times that DCPH only rules a resident’s death as a COVID-19 death if it is determined that the person died as a result of COVID-19, not when someone has COVID-19 but dies primarily of another cause.
Also this week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended increased public mask use in regions where the variant is spreading quickly and at schools, citing new evidence that the delta variant of the coronavirus could be spread through rare “breakthrough” infections in vaccinated people. The new guidelines are aimed at everyone, regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated, signaling a reversal by the CDC for the first time since recommendations were relaxed in May.
The number of active cases in Denton County was rapidly declining early this year and slowed throughout the spring and early summer. The case count actually started to slowly rise again earlier this month. Friday’s active case count is 3,120, up from 1,444 on July 6 and 2,410 one week ago, according to DCPH data. This rise in cases coincides with the increased prevalence of the more contagious Delta variant, according to DCPH.
During this week’s Denton County Commissioners Court meeting, Richardson said hospitalizations are also rising “somewhat rapidly.”
“Last week, 90% of COVID-19 positive patients in Denton County hospitals were unvaccinated,” Richardson said. “10% had at least one dose. The numbers speak for themselves.”
About 63% of Denton County residents have gotten at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and 55% are fully vaccinated.
“As vaccinations increase, cases decrease,” Richardson said. “Vaccinations flatten the curve.”
To minimize spread of COVID-19, DCPH urges all unvaccinated community members to:
- Maintain at least six feet of physical distance in public settings and when around individuals outside of the household
- Wear masks or face coverings, which should cover both the nose and mouth, in public settings and when around individuals outside of the household
- Wash and/or sanitize hands frequently
- Stay home if you are symptomatic, have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19, or are awaiting COVID-19 test results
- If you are 12 years old or over, get your COVID-19 vaccine
If you are fully vaccinated, CDC recommends mask use in public indoor spaces.
Click here for more information about COVID-19 vaccines in Denton County. For additional COVID-19 data including active case information by municipality, hospital capacity, and ventilator utilization, visit dentoncounty.gov/COVIDstats.
For information regarding DCPH’s upcoming testing centers, visit dentoncounty.gov/COVID19testing.
For additional COVID-19 health and safety recommendations, visit dentoncounty.gov/COVID19.
Parts of this news story originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at www.texastribune.org/2021/07/27/texas-masks-cdc-covid-19/