Thursday, October 21, 2021

Denton County: 9 more COVID-19 deaths reported this week

Denton County Public Health announced this week that nine more county residents’ deaths were determined to have been a result of COVID-19, bringing the countywide COVID-19 death toll to 695.

The deaths reported this week include a Dallas woman in her 30s, a Justin woman in her 50s, a Carrollton man in his 50s, a Lewisville man in his 60s, a Northlake woman in her 70s, a Denton man in his 70s, a Carrollton man in his 70s, a woman in her 70s who lived in unincorporated southwest Denton County (which includes Lantana) and a Denton woman over 80.

“Please keep their families in your thoughts and prayers,” said Denton County Judge Andy Eads. “With the decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations, we are hopeful the trend continues. We ask community members to get vaccinated, as vaccination remains the best way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization and death.”

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. Actual dates of death can be released several days to several months after the date of death, due to various reporting agencies and medical records review.

The surge of active COVID-19 cases has slowed considerably and has nearly leveled off, although it is still higher than ever before. There are 16,346 active cases in the county, as of Friday, which is up from 16,014 on Monday.

DCPH Director Dr. Matt Richardson has said for the past few weeks that health officials have been expecting the cases to plateau, and this week he said there are some “silver linings” in the data as COVID-19 hospitalization rates are trending down. Total hospital occupancy remains high in Denton County as inpatient beds are 83% occupied and there are only two available ICU beds, according to DCPH data on Friday.

DCPH announced over the weekend that it will soon begin sending self-scheduling links to DCPH-vaccinated individuals eligible for a COVID-19 Pfizer booster dose. The FDA, CDC, and the Texas Department of State Health Services recently approved booster doses for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine recipients.

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. DCPH has revised the Vaccine Interest Portal to allow individuals who meet the eligibility criteria for a third dose to register for upcoming DCPH vaccination clinics.

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.

If you are severely immunocompromised, consider an additional dose of mRNA vaccine after your initial two doses.

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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