The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in North Texas is expected to increase in the coming weeks as the Delta variant spreads among unvaccinated individuals.
According to a report by the Dallas Morning News, a model made by forecasters at UT Southwestern Medical Center shows that COVID-19 hospitalizations in Dallas County and Tarrant County could surpass their winter peaks by early September.
In early January 2021, Dallas County reached its high of more than 1,200 COVID-19 patients. Tarrant County peaked above 1,500.
Dallas County is predicted to have 1,600 new cases each day and 1,500 or more hospitalizations by Sept. 9, while Tarrant County is predicted to have 1,900 hospitalizations and 1,700 daily cases on the same date, the Dallas Morning News reported.
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According to the Dallas Morning News, UT Southwestern Medical Center said the Delta variant now accounts for 95% of its positive coronavirus tests.
UTSW also said that the Delta variant is leading to a greater number of severe cases in younger people, who have lower vaccination rates, compared to earlier surges.
The Dallas Morning News reported that roughly 50% more children and 30% more people ages 18-49 are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 than at the January peak in Dallas, Collin, Denton, and Tarrant counties.
However, according to a Carnegie Mellon University survey, the wearing of masks in public has increased in North Texas in recent week.
According to forecasters, “this simple but powerful intervention can help mitigate the spread” of the virus.
The current rate of vaccinations, however, needs to rise further “to avoid the worst scenarios,” the Dallas Morning News reported.