Tarrant County ICU Occupancy Drops to 96%; TCPH Adds 2,444 Cases, 15 Deaths Thursday

Cases top 167,700 in Tarrant County with 1,576 dead since early March; an estimated 120,658 people have recovered from the virus

Nefty Gonzalez, NBC 5

The Tarrant County Public Health Department says ICUs in the county are at 96% capacity Thursday while adding an additional 2,444 new cases of COVID-19 along with 15 more deaths.

According to the TCPH COVID-19 dashboard, there were 1,528 COVID-19 patients in county hospitals through Wednesday, 39 more than on Tuesday. COVID-19 patients are making up 30% of all county hospital patients and 25.33 of all hospital patients in TSA-E. The total bed occupancy rate for all hospital beds in the county is now at 89%, a 2% increase from Wednesday. Adult ICU capacity in Tarrant County decreased to from 97% to 96% 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 17,728 new and probable cases of the virus or an average of 2,532 per day. Data from the county health department indicated there were 1,926 more confirmed cases than the most recent report and 518 more probable cases. To date, the county has reported 146,029 confirmed cases of the virus and 21,703 probable cases for a total of 167,732 cases.

The county is also reporting another 1,725 estimated recoveries, bringing the total number of survivors to 120,658. There are currently an estimated 45,498 active cases in the county, the most of any North Texas county.

The latest victims included a woman from Fort Worth in her 90s, a man from North Richland Hills in his 90s, a woman from Bedford in her 80s, a woman from North Richland Hills in her 80s, a woman from Crowley in her 70s, a man from Euless in his 70s, a woman from Arlington in her 70s, three men from Fort Worth in their 70s, a man from Keller in his 60s, a man from Arlington in his 60s, and three men from Fort Worth in their 60s, 40s and 30s respectfully. Two of the deceased had unknown underlying conditions, while the remainder had underlying health conditions.

TCPH now reports 1,576 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 or call the Tarrant County Public Health information line, 817-248-6299, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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