Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in North Texas are expected to continue to rise for at least two or three more weeks as the delta variant fuels a dramatic surge in cases, the president and CEO of the DFW Hospital Council says.
About 3,150 COVID-19 patients are being treated in hospitals in the 19-county region covering the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the council leader, Steve Love, said Tuesday.
Hospitals are operating at about 92% capacity and there are only about 70 adult ICU beds available across the region.
“Almost 50% of the patients in ICU have COVID-19,” Love said. “If that number continues to increase, that makes a smaller number of beds available for heart attacks, strokes, automobile accidents, etc.”
Love said hospitals are continuing to see a trend of the delta variant infecting children more severely than previous strains of COVID-19 did.
In January, during the high point of the winter surge, there were about 36 to 40 pediatric patients being treated in the region’s hospitals. That number has recently been as high as 73, Love said.
Coronavirus outbreaks have led several school districts in Texas to shut down temporarily, including Kemp ISD in Kaufman and Henderson counties.
Love said health experts are hopeful that cases will plateau or drop off in two to three weeks. A similar trend was seen in the United Kingdom and Israel, which had earlier surges of the delta variant.
Still, Love urged people to get vaccinated to help curb the spread of the virus.
“Clearly the majority of the patients that are filling our hospitals right now are people that did not get vaccinated,” he said. “Look at the risk, look at the benefits. The benefit far outweighs.”
Love added that the recent opening of a state-funded infusion center in Fort Worth should help keep some COVID-19 patients out of the region’s hospitals. The center uses Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody treatment, which works by infusing patients with synthetic antibodies to help them mount a faster immune response to the virus.
Anyone age 12 years and older can get treated at the center if they are referred by a physician, Love said. The center can infuse 90 patients a day and has the capacity for expansion.
“It doesn’t always prevent them [from hospitalization], but in many cases, it does. So it’s another tool in the toolbox that we use,” Love said.
Dallas County reported 11 more COVID-19 deaths and 3,580 new coronavirus cases Tuesday. The county no longer releases new coronavirus data on weekends and instead releases three-day totals on Tuesdays.
Of the new cases, 3,332 were confirmed and 248 were probable. The numbers bring the county’s overall case total to 343,824, including 294,286 confirmed and 49,538 probable. The death toll is 4,291.
The average number of new daily cases in the county for the last two weeks is 1,206. For the previous 14-day period, the average was 898.
The county reported that 944 people were hospitalized with the virus.
According to the state, 1,460,905 people in Dallas County have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 1,203,735 — 55.2% of the county’s population 12 and older — are fully vaccinated.
Dallas College said that it would offer free community vaccination clinics on its campuses starting Monday. For a list of dates and times, visit dallascollege.edu/coronavirus.
The community college also is offering students a $200 incentive for showing proof of vaccination or getting vaccinated by Nov. 15. Employees who are fully vaccinated can receive $500.
Across the state, 21,068 more cases were reported Tuesday, including 20,701 new cases and 367 older ones recently reported by labs.
The state also reported 199 COVID-19 deaths, raising its toll to 54,222.
Of the new cases, 15,516 were confirmed and 5,185 were probable. Of the older cases, 93 were confirmed and 274 were probable.
The state’s case total is now 3,472,002, including 2,929,797 confirmed and 542,205 probable.
There are a total of 13,666 hospitalizations in the state.
According to the state, 16,140,226 people in Texas have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 13,410,174 — 55.7% of the state’s population 12 and older — are fully vaccinated.
Tarrant County reported four deaths and 634 cases Tuesday.
Of the new cases, 535 were confirmed and 99 were probable. The numbers bring the county’s case total to 295,132, including 246,148 confirmed and 48,984 probable. The death toll is 3,759.
The county reported that 978 people were hospitalized with the virus.
According to the state, 1,089,278 people in Tarrant County have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 927,011 — 53.3% of the county’s population 12 and older — are fully vaccinated.
The state added four deaths and 831 cases to Collin County’s totals Tuesday.
Of the new cases, 654 were confirmed and 177 were probable. The numbers bring the county’s case total to 106,039, including 86,815 confirmed and 19,224 probable. The death toll is 887.
The county reported that 472 people were hospitalized with the virus.
According to the state, 651,160 people in Collin County have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 566,326 — 65.5% of the county’s population 12 and older — are fully vaccinated.
Denton County reported eight deaths and 519 cases Tuesday.
The newly reported cases bring the county’s case total to 86,996, including 63,496 confirmed and 23,500 probable. The death toll is 650.
The county reported that 180 people were hospitalized with the virus.
According to the state, 508,396 people in Denton County have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 447,317 — 59.6% of the county’s population 12 and older — are fully vaccinated.
The Texas Department of State Health Services has taken over reporting for these other North Texas counties. In some counties, new data may not be reported every day.
The latest numbers are:
- Rockwall County: 13,969 cases (10,968 confirmed and 3,001 probable), 165 deaths.
- Kaufman County: 19,002 cases (15,522 confirmed and 3,480 probable), 287 deaths.
- Ellis County: 26,070 cases (21,076 confirmed and 4,994 probable), 337 deaths.
- Johnson County: 22,440 cases (18,791 confirmed and 3,649 probable), 402 deaths.