Thursday, October 21, 2021

Active COVID-19 cases in Denton County plateau

For the past several weeks, local health officials have been expecting the surge of COVID-19 cases to plateau.

The daily number of active COVID-19 cases in Denton County decreased this week for the first time since early July. Friday’s active case count was 16,346, the highest ever, but Monday’s Denton County Public Health report noted 958 new recoveries and 499 new cases (456 active), bringing the active case count down to 15,888. Tuesday’s report had the active case count increase a bit to 15,979.

During Tuesday’s Denton County Commissioners Court meeting, DCPH Director Dr. Matt Richardson said there was more “encouraging” news as hospital capacity continues to slowly improve. Denton County hospitals inpatient beds are down to 18.6% occupied by COVID-19 patients, the lowest such rate since early August.

“Hospitals are getting a little bit of a reprieve,” Richardson said before adding that much improvement is still needed to bring numbers way down.

On Tuesday, the Denton County Commissioners Court unanimously approved grant funding from the Texas Department of State Health Services to hire new employees to support the county in COVID-19 vaccination capacity. One $750,000 grant will go through June 2024 and be used to identify racial and ethnic minority populations to provide targeted education and outreach about COVID-19 vaccinations. A $500,000 grant will run through May 31, 2023 to increase community engagement in communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

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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