Denton County

Denton County Has Entered ‘New Territory' for COVID-19

Denton County's public health director said Tuesday that Denton County is "definitely in a second wave"

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With North Texans on the verge of facing another round of restrictions, Denton County Public Health Director Matt Richardson says Denton County has entered new territory when it comes to COVID-19 transmission.

“We are very definitely in second wave or the surge or the spike or whatever euphemistic term you would like to use,” he said.

In a meeting with county commissioners Tuesday, Richardson explained the numbers.

To trigger new restrictions, COVID-19 hospitalizations in the North Texas region must exceed 15% for seven days in a row.

Denton County has been above the 15% threshold since Nov. 21. On Tuesday, the seven-day average was 17.4%, Richardson said.

Out of 76 adult ICU beds in the county, just 14 remained available Tuesday. Richardson said well over half of the 62 others are occupied by COVID-19 patients.

“That is something that has not happened before in COVID in Denton County,” he said.

But there are signs of hope, first, with the effectiveness of possible vaccines which Richardson called a “public health victory.”

Then, with the people who’ve beaten the disease.

“I honest-to-God didn't think I’d make it, to be honest with you,” Alicia Garcia said from her hospital bed.

Garcia contracted COVID-19 in mid-November and spent more than a week hospitalized at Medical City Denton before being discharged and sent home on Tuesday.

“God has blessed me,” she said. “I’m getting on my feet and I’m ready to give this room to a patient that's in more need than I am, for sure.”

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