Denton County Public Health says county hospitals are back down to only five available ICU beds Friday afternoon while also reporting another 702 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths attributed to the virus.
DCPH reported hospital capacity at 76.2% Friday, an increase of 3% from the day before. DCPH reported a record 162 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Denton County; 37 of those patients are in ICUs. Of the 83 patients in the ICU, 45% are COVID-19 patients. DCPH said there are 213 available beds, five of which are in ICUs.
Stephen Love with the DFW Hospital Council told NBC 5 Friday that in Trauma Service Area E there were 2,946 COVID-19 patients in area hospitals, up 87 from the day before. While the number can fluctuate, Love said Friday afternoon there were 11 available ICU beds in Dallas County, six in Collin County and 20 in Tarrant County.
Love added that in TSA-E ICUs, 41% of patients have COVID-19.
"This is very serious and with the upcoming holidays, we need everyone to please wear masks and stay out of crowds! We need your help!" Love said.
Of the 702 new cases reported Friday afternoon, DCPH confirmed 596 are active while 106 have already cleared recovery protocol. The countywide total for cases stands at 33,822 with 22,893 estimated recoveries and 10,746 estimated active cases.
“As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, we are also reporting the deaths of three individuals due to COVID-19,” said Denton County Judge Andy Eads. “We ask that you bestow prayers upon the families of these individuals. Our hospitals, which are quickly filling, have medical staff in the trenches fighting the battle against this virus. We can help by doing our part to stay healthy and safe by wearing masks, social distancing, and washing and sanitizing hands frequently.”
The three latest victims in Denton County include a woman in her 70s from Denton, a man in his 70s from Denton and a woman in her 60s who was a resident of Longmeadow Healthcare Center in Justin.
“The first healthcare workers in Denton County have begun to receive their COVID-19 vaccines. This is an important milestone and we all look forward to additional vaccine supply being sent to our communities," Eads said earlier this week. "The safety measures our community members take now help support our healthcare staff working on the front lines in fighting this virus.”
DCPH is also providing a free drive-thru COVID-19 testing center on Tuesday, Dec. 22 at the University of North Texas Discovery Park at 2940 N. Elm Street in Denton. Eligible community members must reside in Denton County, pre-register by calling 940-349-2585, and have not previously tested positive for COVID-19. Pre-registration is required and appointments are available starting at 8 a.m.
Denton County is also providing free testing through the county health department. For times and locations, visit DentonCounty.gov/COVID19testing.
To minimize the spread of COVID-19, DCPH asks all community members to continue 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 have pending COVID-19 lab results.