DALLAS - While still high, COVID-19 hospitalizations could be stabilizing in most North Texas counties, according to the latest pandemic forecast.
The latest UT Southwestern modeling continues to project increases in the number of pediatric cases.
But North Texas hospitals on Tuesday reported 94 children in their care with the virus. That's the first time that number has been under 100 in the last two weeks and is a significant drop from Sept. 6 pandemic high of 131.
Today was another day where no staffed pediatric ICU beds were available in our 190county region.
While overall hospital numbers appear to be leveling off, transmission among children will continue to rise.
Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja had a dire update for county commissioners Tuesday. All the hospitals in the county are full.
"Currently, our hospitals are completely full of pediatric standpoint," he said. "There's not a single bed available."
And in UT Southwestern's latest COVID-19 forecast, hospital admissions for children reached a pandemic high and are expected to keep going up.
"The overall numbers of adults may be greater than children," said Dr. Mark Casanova with the Dallas County Medical Society. "But the rate of increase is outpacing the rate of increase in adults."
There are currently 3,500 COVID patients in North Texas hospitals. It’s a slight decrease from the day before but on par with recent hospitalizations.
Dr. Casanova says for about two weeks the total patient levels have hit a plateau.
"We're really watching this closely. Again, we'll take leveling off of numbers as a positive," he said. "But we're not going to hang up our white coats and call it a day because we know things can change dramatically with this pandemic. "
UT Southwestern says new hospital admissions in Dallas County are starting to slightly decline. It expects hospitalizations to peak below last winter’s pandemic high.
But in neighboring Tarrant County, they’re still steadily going up. And researchers expect that trend to stick around for a few more weeks.
The primary focus right now is with children who have been back inside classrooms. Many of them have been without the health measures that were in place last year.
"And even in the pediatric ICU, there's not a bed available," Taneja said. "So that's very concerning because routine stuff still goes on. Kids get sick. They have surgeries. They have other treatments that sometimes need hospitalizations or ICUs.
Dr. Casanova says this week we should start to see if there was infection spread from the Labor Day holiday.