COVID-19 indicators such as hospitalizations are trending down in Tarrant County, according to Tarrant County’s Public Health director.
Vinny Taneja, director of Tarrant County Public Health, reported at a Tarrant County Commissioners Court on Tuesday hospitals in Tarrant County are currently operating at 22%. For the first time in three weeks, the county’s positivity is below 20%.
As of Tuesday, Taneja said it stood at 18.8%.
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“That’s a very high rate but we’re okay because we were at 30% and now to get down to below 20…feels good,” Taneja said. “Everything is starting to trend down. That’s what’s exciting about this. On its own, we’re still at very high levels. Make no mistake, we have a major, major outbreak in our community but when you look at the trend for the last three weeks, we’re trending downward.”
Want to Get on a Vaccine Waitlist?
As the state begins to distribute the COVID-19 vaccines for those in Phase 1A and 1B, county health departments have begun waitlists for those wish to be inoculated.
You can now register to recieve the vaccination in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties. Links are below:
You do not need to be a resident of the county to register for a COVID-19 vaccine in that county -- registration is open to anyone in Texas. For those without internet access, Tarrant County is also taking registrations by phone at 817-248-6299. In Dallas County, call the DCHHS vaccine hotline at 1-855-IMMUNE9 (1-855-466-8639). In Denton County, call 940-349-2585.
For a more detailed breakdown of who is included in each priority group in Texas, see this page from the Texas DSHS.
Taneja said he contributed the decline to several factors.
“We need to do all the right things. Wear a mask, stay away from others more than six feet. Don’t attend any large gatherings that are not absolutely necessary. When we continue to do those things, now that the vaccine is around if your number gets called up… come take the vaccine. Don’t miss your appointment,” he said. “All of these combined are having a huge impact. We’re seeing that happen in our data, and we need to keep the numbers pushing lower.”
On Tuesday, Tarrant County reported an additional 37 COVID-19 deaths with 2,277 confirmed deaths overall. 13 of the newly reported deceased Tuesday had no underlying health conditions, county public health officials said.
Elizabeth Basham, executive director of Trinity Collaborative Inc., said all of the indicators have been carefully considered by her team as they plan for Mayfest 2021. This week, the organization announced they would cancel the event which has been a decades-long staple in Fort Worth.
The decision was not made lightly but cancellation was the only choice, Basham said. Mayfest typically draws about 200,000 people during the four-day event.
“It is our responsibility to help flatten that curve and to negate any negative impact bringing together such a large population it could have,” she said. “As we were looking at the trends and after we conferred with consumer health, we did know that we would see some ups and downs as it relates to the pandemic. We certainly felt and know that May is just too soon before the curve is flatten.”
Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley echoed the plea to the public to continue with safety protocols such as masks and keeping a distance. They are pleased with more than 160,000 COVID-19 doses having been administered so far, Judge Whitley said.
“Just remember, that’s less than 10% of the county,” he said. “Some of those folks came from other counties.”
According to Tarrant County Public Health, 94% of those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine in Tarrant County live in the county. About 6% live outside of Tarrant County.
About 10,000 of those who received a vaccine in Tarrant County work in doctors’ offices or are city workers, for example, Taneja said.
“In the signup, now you’ll see almost 30-31% is people out of the county. That is because we made it an invite after talking to the state. Our judge went out to 10 different judges to invite them to let them sign up with us because it looked like they were not going get their vaccine for quite a while,” he explained. “There has been some movement. Just like we became a metro hub for a vaccine, there are some rural hubs that got made. Now, they’re not getting 10,000 doses or anything. They’re getting 500 or 1,000 here, but we’ve been able to share our information with Burleson. They have received some vaccine, so that’s in Johnson County.”
For more on waitlists and registrations around North Texas, click here.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.