Thursday, January 27, 2022

14 COVID-19 deaths reported in Denton County this week

Friday, Dec. 3

The number of COVID-19 deaths in Denton County has risen significantly in the last two weeks, according to Denton County Public Health data.

DCPH reported six COVID-19 deaths last week and 14 this week, bringing the countywide COVID-19 death toll to 752. The recent deaths included residents of Corinth, Highland Village and Denton (among others outside southern Denton County) and several people in their 40s and 50s.

“Please keep their families in your thoughts and prayers,” said Denton County Judge Andy Eads. “With this recent uptick in COVID-19 cases, we hope community members will get vaccinated, as vaccination remains the best way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization and death. And, during the holidays, we hope you will take the recommended precautions to keep you and your family safe.”

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.

Other numbers are also trending in the wrong direction, according to DCPH. Active cases had been falling from a peak of 16,346 on Oct. 1, down to 5,356 on Tuesday, but those numbers were plateauing and have risen a bit, reaching 5,410 on Friday, according to DCPH data.

During the Denton County Commissioners Court Meeting on Tuesday, DCPH Director Dr. Matt Richardson said hospitalizations are trending up, and hospitals in the area could face staff shortages during the holidays.

“Staffing levels are always a challenge at the holidays, it’s flu and cold season in general,” he said. “But with trending upwards with COVID patients, this is going to squeeze our hospital staff” and access for patients.

Nearly 100% of all Denton County cases are that of the Delta variant, but a new COVID-19 “variant of concern,” Omicron, was named this week. The first Omicron cases in the United State were just identified this week. There is an increased concern about Omicron because it has 50 total mutations — more than any other COVID-19 variants — and unknown virulence.

As more information is learned about Omicron over the next few weeks, Denton County officials are urging residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 (or schedule a booster). Vaccines lessen the severity of COVID-19 cases and increase the survivability, officials said. Click here for more information about Omicron.

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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