Friday, May 27, 2022

Denton man in 30s dies of COVID-19; case count spiking

As the Omicron variant wave of COVID-19 continues to surge through the area, Denton County Public Health reported Tuesday that a Denton man in his 30s has died of COVID-19.

He is believed to be one of the youngest Denton County residents to die as a result of COVID-19, if not the youngest.

“As we announce the death of one community member due to COVID-19, please keep their family in your thoughts and prayers,” said Denton County Judge Andy Eads. “With this recent uptick in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, we hope community members will get vaccinated, as vaccination remains the best way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization and death. Please 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.

DCPH also reported 4,233 new COVID-19 cases on Monday and 3,692 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the countywide active case count to 23,502, far surpassing the previous pandemic record of 16,346 active cases on Oct. 1, 2021, during the Delta variant surge.

DCPH now allows for self-reporting of positive at-home COVID-19 tests. Community members who test positive for COVID-19 utilizing an at-home COVID-19 test can now self-report case information at dentoncounty.gov/covidselfreport. Data entered in the self-report form is not included in DCPH’s COVID-19 daily reporting and dashboard until verified via case review.

During the Denton County Commissioners Court Meeting on Tuesday, DCPH Director Dr. Matt Richardson said there are some silver linings with the Omicron surge, because while the new variant is highly contagious, patients usually experience less severe symptoms, especially those who are fully vaccinated and boosted.

“Cases are more than double (the previous peak),” Richardson said, referring to DCPH data of onset of illness by week. “And yet, hospitalizations are really about even. So that’s really good news — this surge is not driving hospitalizations double of what we had last year, or even Delta.”

Richardson said COVID-19 deaths are a “lagging indicator,” because it usually takes a couple weeks to a couple months for DCPH to confirm a resident’s death as being the result of COVID-19. Richardson said several recent deaths are currently under investigation.

The Biden administration on Tuesday quietly launched its website for Americans to request free at-home COVID-19 tests, a day before the site was scheduled to officially go online, according to the Associated Press. The website, COVIDTests.gov, now includes a link for Americans to access an order form run by the U.S. Postal Service. People can order four at-home tests per residential address, to be delivered by the Postal Service.

To minimize spread of COVID-19, DCPH urges community members to:

  • Get vaccinated and boosted when eligible
  • Wear well-fitting masks in public indoor settings
  • Test five days after exposure or if you have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Isolate, quarantine, and wear a mask when recommended

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.

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

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