Sunday, September 19, 2021

Denton County sets ‘unfortunate milestone’ in COVID-19 hospitalizations

A screenshot of the DCPH website

COVID-19 patients make up a larger percentage of all hospitalizations in Denton County than ever before, according to Denton County Public Health.

DCPH Director Dr. Matt Richardson gave his weekly COVID-19 update Tuesday during the Denton County Commissioners Court meeting, and he said that nearly 27% of all hospitalizations in Denton County are COVID-19 patients.

“There is an unfortunate milestone, though, yesterday we surpassed our pandemic high of percentage of COVID-19 patients,” Richardsons said.

According to DCPH data on Tuesday, 83 ICU beds in Denton County are occupied and only three are available. A week ago, four were available. Tuesday, 610 total inpatient beds are occupied and 73 are available. A week ago, 116 were available.

The fastest growing group of positive cases by age is kids, ages 0-19. While other age groups have more or less plateaued lately, the youngest age group has increased considerably since school started.

A screenshot of the DCPH website

“I think our fears of continued transmission are coming to fruition there,” Richardson said.

DCPH is working with school districts to have a fully updated COVID-19 ISD dashboard on its website, though districts “have not fully embraced this yet.”

The Delta variant is responsible for virtually all new COVID-19 cases.

“Really no other variants are detectable in the region,” Richardson said. “That is of grave concern because the transmission rates of Delta have been so high.”

Tuesday’s active case count was 10,826, up from 1,444 on July 6. The most active cases in one day was over 15,000 in February. The countywide death toll remains at 659.

Just over 60.5% of all eligible Denton County residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Texas Department of State Health Services data. DCPH continues to urge all unvaccinated residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

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 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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