DALLAS - The number of COVID-19 patients in North Texas hospitals continues to decline and is now below the state’s threshold for business restrictions.
On Wednesday, there were about 1,750 people hospitalized in the 19-county North Texas hospital region because of the coronavirus.
COVID patients were taking up only about 10.5% of available hospital beds, which down significantly from the peak of the pandemic.
In fact, that percentage has been below 15% for at least the past seven days.
Gov. Greg Abbott’s emergency orders state that when a hospital region has more than 15% of COVID-19 patients taking up hospital capacity, bars would immediately close and restaurants and retail businesses would be restricted to 50% capacity. Elective surgeries would also be postponed.
North Texas hit that threshold in late November. Hospitalizations remained high following the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
With the number now below 15% for more than seven straight days, those businesses that were forced to scale back can once again open up to 75% capacity, elective surgeries can resume and bars can reopen.
Reporting on the number of new coronavirus cases was delayed after last week’s winter weather. Counties are now getting back to releasing that data.
On Wednesday there were more than 2,100 new cases and 42 deaths reported in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton counties. That includes 25 deaths in Dallas County.
It’s the first time in 11 days the area has reported more than 2,000 cases in a day.