COVID-19 patients take up more than 15% of capacity at North Texas hospitals for 3rd straight day

North Texas is getting closer to seeing more restrictions at places like bars and stores.

For a third day in a row, COVID-19 patients take up more than 15% of available hospital beds in the North Texas region.

That 15%, which equates to nearly 2,400 people in North Texas hospitals, is the threshold Governor Greg Abbott set in his emergency orders.

Health officials said the chances of this sustaining for an entire week are likely.

Tarrant County reported its first new numbers since Thanksgiving. Right now, a record 834 people are in the county’s hospitals with COVID-19.

Tarrant County also reported more than 1,300 new cases on Sunday.

For Thursday through Saturday, Dallas County reported more than 3,000 new cases.

Gov. Abbott’s order says that when a region has seven days in a row of above 15% of COVID-19 patients taking up hospital capacity, bars would immediately close.

Restaurants and retail businesses would go back to 50% capacity.

Elective surgeries would also be postponed.

“I think we've got two to three weeks ahead of us where we really need to make a difference. The unfortunate thing is there is a lag time. What you do today won’t really impact anything for a week or 10 days. So if there is any spread that was done over Thanksgiving, we are unfortunately going to see those hospitalizations in the next week,” said Stephen Love, with the DFW Hospital Council.

The state data is a couple of days behind the daily updates hospitals in our region get.

Sunday’s COVID-19 capacity from the regional advisory council is above 16%, so that gives North Texans some insight into what the state numbers will be in the days to come.