coronavirus

As COVID-19 Cases Climb in North Texas, Officials Express Concern Over Post-Holiday Surge

Dallas County Health and Human Services reported 6,144 COVID-19 cases combined for Thursday-Saturday, while Tarrant County added 2,217 new cases Sunday

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Health officials in Dallas County on Sunday released COVID-19 numbers encompassing the Christmas holiday, which showed an average of 2,000 new cases per day.

To the west, Tarrant County reported 2,217 new cases Sunday.

The concern is growing among officials across North Texas as cases continue to rise and hospital bed space remains precariously sparse.

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“Some of it is really not hospital space but staffing, these frontline heroes are really stretched to the max,” said Dr. Philip Huang, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services.

Huang said the next few weeks would be among the most critical of the pandemic as cases are expected to rise following Christmas gatherings.

"We've had a little surge it seems after every holiday and we will probably end up having a little bit of one this time but hopefully the vaccine gives everyone a little bit of a light at the end of the tunnel,” Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said.

So far, the first wave of the vaccine has been nearly exclusively focused on frontline healthcare workers and first responders. In weeks to come, both Dallas and Tarrant counties hope to expand the availability to other groups -- including those with pre-existing conditions -- but widespread availability remains months away.

“The vaccine is out there but it is going to take months before we really get it out to the general public,” Huang said.

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