COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations surging again in Tarrant County, health director warns

Tarrant County's health director is sounding the alarm again about the rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. He's concerned about "COVID fatigue."

Meanwhile, a few Fort Worth ISD parents expressed concern about the rise in cases at schools.

Tarrant County Public Health Director Dr. Vinny Taneja says cases are surging once again, and hospitalizations are also up.

Over the weekend, code compliance issued four citations to bars not adhering toCOVID-19 guidelines.

At the Fort Worth ISD board meeting Tuesday, parents expressed their concerns about a variety of issues including rising covid19 cases countywide.

It's a sentiment echoed by Dr. Taneja.

“All of our data indicators are that we are in a surge currently in Tarrant County with COVID-19 cases,” he explained.

Dr. Taneja says the COVID-19 positivity rate is at 12%. 500 new cases were reported Tuesday, and hospitalizations are also on the rise.

“The worry we have is a lot of things combined. We don't have the policy measures that we had in place in March and April,” he said. “We are heading into a cooler season. Flu is going to be circulating, and we're opening the economy and schools and colleges.”

Last Wednesday, the Tarrant County judge allowed bars to reopen with limited capacity.

The TABC, along with Fort Worth Police Department, and fire and code enforcement officers monitored activity at several bars.

Fort Worth Code Compliance Director Brandon Bennett briefed the council on Tuesday.

“It was like when you go to Las Vegas and you have the public sidewalk and you have all of those people moving in different directions. That's exactly what we saw in the 7th Street bar area,” he said.

Bennett says most establishments were in compliance or had minor violations. Four citations were issued for major violations. Ampersand had its permit suspended for 30 days by the TABC.

Dr. Taneja is urging folks to wear face coverings, practice social distancing and limited exposure to group gatherings. That includes Halloween activities.

For Halloween, Dr. Taneja suggested that people put out individually wrapped candy bags on a table outside their home for kids to grab. He recommended any trick-or-treaters do so as a small family unit.