coronavirus

Tarrant County Hospitals Hit 97% Occupancy; 2,199 COVID-19 Cases, 17 Deaths Added Monday

Cases top 159,000 in Tarrant County with 1,542 dead since early March; an estimated 116,035 people have recovered from the virus

Nefty Gonzalez, NBC 5

The Tarrant County Public Health Department says hospitals and ICUs in the county are both at 97% capacity Monday while adding an additional 2,199 new cases of COVID-19 along with 17 new deaths.

According to the TCPH COVID-19 dashboard, there are 1,428 COVID-19 patients in county hospitals Sunday, 110 more than on Friday. COVID-19 patients are making up 30% of all ICU patients and 24% of all hospital patients. The total bed occupancy rate for all hospital beds in the county is now at 97%, up 7% from Friday. Adult ICU capacity in Tarrant County is also at 97% according to the TCPH COVID-19 dashboard.

Though the hospital capacities are getting close to 100%, officials stressed last week they have surge plans to expand capacity if necessary.

"Hospitals have pandemic surge plans. Let me not scare people, that they don’t know or they don’t have the capacity. They do, but do you really want to stretch that capacity? We already know we’re thin on staffing," Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinnu Taneja said Tuesday. "Staff has been working in the hospital for close to 10 months dealing with a lot of COVID and illness. They’re tired. Some of them had COVID, family with COVID, some of them died. So, do you really want to stretch that capacity?"

In the last seven days, the county has announced 15,930 new cases of the virus or an average of 1,972 per day. Data from the county health department indicates there are 2,234 more confirmed cases than the most recent report and 35 fewer probable cases. To date, the county has reported 139,752 confirmed cases of the virus and 20,179 probable cases for a total of 159,931 cases.

The county is also reporting another 1,235 estimated recoveries, bringing the total number of survivors to 116,035. There are currently an estimated 42,354 active cases in the county, the most of any North Texas county.

The latest victims included a man in his 80s from Arlington, a man in his 80s from Benbrook, a man in his 80s from Fort Worth, a man in his 70s from Hurst, a man in his 70s from Arlington, a man in his 70s from Fort Worth, a woman in her 70s from Fort Worth, a woman in her 70s from North Richland Hills, a woman in her 70s from Mansfield, a man and two women in their 60s from Arlington, a man in his 50s from Fort Worth, a woman in her 50s from Arlington, a woman in her 40s from Fort Worth, a man in his 40s from Fort Worth, and a man in his 30s from Unincorporated Tarrant County. All had underlying health conditions.

TCPH now reports 1,542 deaths attributed to the virus since March 2020.

Tarrant County, which has extended its mask mandate until Feb. 28, 2021, began reporting both probable and confirmed cases of COVID-19 in August 2020 at the request of the state health department. Probable cases, the county said, account for a variety of real-world situations and could highlight cases in the community that may otherwise go unreported.

COVID-19 causes a respiratory illness with cough, fever and shortness of breath and may lead to bronchitis, severe pneumonia or even death. For more information go to coronavirus.tarrantcounty.com or call the Tarrant County Public Health information line, 817-248-6299, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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