Denton County reached a positive benchmark in the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday when it had no COVID-19 patients in any ICUs in the county.
During Tuesday’s Denton County Commissioners Court meeting, Denton County Public Health Director Dr. Matt Richardson shared an update on more positive hospitalization trends and the current state of the pandemic. The decline of COVID-19 continues, with only 1.2 new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 residents, according to DCPH data. The COVID-19 hospitalization rate in the county is at its lowest point in the pandemic, and the case positivity rate remains very low.
State health data shows that the Omicron BA-2 variant, a new version of the Omicron variant, is slowly becoming more prevalent in the region. About 18% of new cases are that of the BA-2 variant, up from less than 5% a couple weeks ago. Richardson called it an “Omicron Plus” variant that appears to be more easily transmissible, but “it does seem even less severe, thus far.” The BA-2 variant is currently causing a rise in cases in Asia and Europe, and it could cause an uptick in the U.S. later this spring.
DCPH has reported three more COVID-19 deaths in the past week, bringing the countywide death toll to 811. The deaths of a Flower Mound woman in her 60s, a Corinth woman over 80 and a Denton man in his 70s were reported on Thursday and Friday.
“Please keep their families in your thoughts and prayers,” said Denton County Judge Andy Eads. “We hope community members will 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.
Richardson has 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. The deaths reported in the past few weeks reflect patients who had the Omicron variant during the huge spike in cases this winter.
The number of active cases in Denton County continues to drop quickly, from the Omicron peak of 58,265 active cases on Feb. 11 down to 8,827 on Monday.
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.