Parents and community members are urging county leaders to consider additional COVID-19 protocols amid a surge in cases and hospitalizations.
Speaking before Tarrant County commissioners Tuesday, Sheri Meyers of Fort Worth said she considered herself “one of the lucky ones.”
“My child is old enough to be vaccinated, but it’s still very scary,” Meyers said.
Meyers was among other speakers who urged county commissioners to consider a mask mandate and a plan to slow the spread of COVID-19.
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“Students are obviously going to fall behind if they’re quarantining for 10 days and they don’t have teacher instruction. Not that I’m criticizing the quarantining. I do want to stop the spread,” she said. “As declared by your honor Judge [Glen] Whitley, this is a disaster. Yet the worse it gets, the more it seems that leadership fizzles at all levels.”
Whitley told the speakers he sympathized and understood their frustrations, but he also indicated the county was limited in what could be implemented.
“To this point, what the attorneys are saying…is we have no ability to issue any orders, and as frustrating as that is, I’m sworn to obey the law,” Whitley said Tuesday.
According to the DFW Hospital Council, there are 3,272 patients battling COVID-19 in Trauma Service Area E’s hospitals as of Tuesday.
“This represents 22.3% of available bed capacity and 48.1% of adult ICU patients have COVID-19. We are closing in on 50% of adult ICU patients who have COVID-19,” council president CEO W. Stephen Love wrote in an email.
Tarrant County is treating the largest number of COVID-19 patients with 1,084, according to the DFW Hospital Council. Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja said Tuesday, the latest data is showing a slight downward trend on daily new cases. The last few days included between 600-700 new cases daily compared to an average of 1,000 or more new cases every day in recent weeks, Taneja said.
“All the charts and indicators we look at, the data is retrospective. It is what has happened in the county. It is not a predictor of what may happen,” he said.
Taneja added some of the contributing factors may be more voluntary mask-wearing along with a slight increase in vaccine and testing demands.
“It’s a caution and a reminder to the community. Our actions matter as a community and we need to work together to beat the pandemic,” he said.
The DFW Hospital Council reports Dallas County has the second-largest amount of hospitalized COVID-19 patients followed by Collin, Denton, Hunt, Ellis, and Rockwall counties.