Sunday, September 19, 2021

Denton County: 8 die of COVID-19, ‘sharp increase in hospitalizations’

Friday, Aug. 20

Denton County Public Health announced this week that eight more county resident have died as a result of COVID-19, bringing the countywide COVID-19 death toll to 642.

The deaths reported Thursday and Friday include a Lewisville man in his 40s, an Aubrey man in his 50s, a Dallas man in his 60s, a Denton man in his 70s, a Little Elm woman in her 70s, a woman in her 60s who lived in The Colony, a man over 80 who lived in unincorporated southeast Denton County and a woman in her 70s who lived in unincorporated southwest Denton County, which includes Lantana.

“We ask you to please keep these individuals’ families and friends in your thoughts and prayers,” said Denton County Judge Andy Eads.

DCPH only rules a resident’s death as a COVID-19 death if it is determined that the person died as a direct result of COVID-19.

During Tuesday’s Denton County Commissioners Court meeting, DCPH Director Dr. Matt Richardson said there has been “a sharp increase in hospitalizations” of COVID-19 patients recently. More than 86% of all hospital beds in Denton County are occupied, as of Friday, and more than 95% of adult ICU beds are occupied, with only four available Friday, according to DCPH data.

Friday’s active case count is 8,130, up from 1,444 on July 6 and 6,237 one week ago, according to DCPH data. The pandemic high in Denton County was above 15,000 active cases in February. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects that 95% of all current cases in North Texas are the Delta variant.

Denton County officials continue to urge unvaccinated residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Richardson said the vaccines are proving to be over 90% effective, an efficacy rate he called “life-changing.”

DCPH is not aware of any Denton County residents dying of COVID-19 who were vaccinated, Richardson said.

People with compromised immune systems who already got two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines can now get a third shot to boost their protection from COVID-19. Last weekend, DCPH revised the Vaccine Interest Portal to allow individuals who meet the eligibility criteria for a third dose to register for upcoming DCPH vaccination clinics. As of Monday, 815 people had registered for their third shot.

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.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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