Denton County seeing downward trend in COVID-19 hospitalizations

Denton County is seeing a downward trend in COVID-19 hospitalizations for the first time in nearly a month.

Hospitalizations still remain at a high level with around 22% of COVID patients in the county’s hospitals. But the county is still hopeful they continue to see things trending in the right direction.

For the first time in almost a month, there is promising news on the COVID-19 outlook in Denton County.

"Yesterday’s percentage of COVID-19 patients in Denton County, the people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Denton Co. was the lowest it’s been since December 23rd. Luckily, we’ve seen in the last week the trend is going down," said Denton County Public Health Director Dr. Matt Richardson.

The county’s daily case numbers also appear to be stabilizing.

On Tuesday, Denton County reported 1,064 new COVID-19 cases and eight additional deaths.

"December, our active case counts were skyrocketing, and then it really began to plateau," Dr. Richardson said. "I would say in the last two weeks, while it’s increased a little bit, it’s nothing like it was at the end of November and beginning of December."

It’s a trend they hope they continue to see. But COVID-19 patients still make up about 22% of the county’s hospital capacity over the governor’s 15% threshold to ease safety restrictions.

"We are trending down. That’s complicated," Dr. Richardson said. "We can’t embrace it just yet because there’s about a month between the onset of illness, the patient going and getting that test reported to public health."

In the meantime, vaccine distribution is ramping up in Denton County after the county was designated a vaccine hub by the state earlier this month. But the county, like many others, doesn’t have enough supply coming in.

110,000 people signed up for the vaccine. There are 6,000 doses available this week.

"Demand far exceeds supply right now, but that was always going to be the case," Dr. Richardson said.

The county plans to have another mobile vaccine clinic this week in Lewisville, but residents must sign up on the county’s website.