DALLAS - COVID-19 hospitalizations are steadily rising in North Texas. In some places, the increase is happening faster than others.
The concern with school starting soon is another surge at the end of the summer.
The majority of new covid patients and cases are among the unvaccinated. Health experts fear another surge is just starting.
About half of all eligible Texans are fully vaccinated. The other half are susceptible to the highly contagious Delta variant, and local hospitalizations are on the rise.
In North Texas, 911 people are now in the hospital with COVID. Exactly one month ago, it was just 287.
Tarrant County has the most COVID patients in North Texas. Vinny Taneja says the latest count was 327, which is about 7% of the total current hospitalizations in the county.
But the increase is being seen everywhere.
"The unvaccinated individuals in Denton County represent fuel for the fire and that becoming more and more apparent," said Denton County Public Health Director Dr. Matt Richardson. "The variants emerge. As those are emerging, it’s kind of a lousy time because school is going to begin in two or three weeks."
In Collin County, hospitalizations have increased by 100 from a month ago.
"We're getting back into a situation where we are seeing hospitals start to fill up again and more and more people getting sick," said Chris Van Deusen with the Texas Department of State Health Services. "And this undoubtedly means more people will be dying as things go on."
Van Deusen says thousands of people are getting vaccinated daily, but it’s a trickle compared to the numbers of people being vaccinated in late winter and early spring.
There have also been some high-profile cases recently of vaccinated people getting infected as well. That includes a group of Democratic lawmakers in Texas and an increasing number of Olympians.
"The people in Texas who are not vaccinated don't have that leg up," Van Deusen said. "The good news is we know how to stop it. The vaccine is the most effective way to do it. The social distancing and the other measures can help as well."
Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley says he is not going to tell people to stay home. But he says if you haven’t gotten the shot, it’s the only way to fully protect yourself.