FORT WORTH, Texas - Tarrant County leaders said Tuesday they do see some glimmers of hope in fighting the spread of COVID-19.
Cases numbers are starting to plateau and mortality is coming down, but they say it’s not a time to relax on safety protocols.
“Hospitalizations for the last four or five days have stabilized. They are not going up but they are not going down either. And there’s been some flattening out in the reporting of cases as well,” said Vinny Taneja, Tarrant County Health Director.
But county health advisors reminded everyone just how bad it’s been, with the order to delay on-campus school instruction to the end of September.
Hospital capacity remains a major concern in the county.
“We had our highest week ever two weeks ago for cases of COVID-19 in Tarrant County. We had our second highest week last week,” said Dr. Catherine Colquitt, Tarrant County Health Department.
MORE: Coronavirus coverage
“We are concerned with the fallout and fatigue of our medical providers and we are trying to protect that group as much as we can because we know this is not over yet,” said Dr. Steve Martin, city of Burleson.
A saliva test site opened at JP Elder Middle School in Fort Worth on Tuesday morning, administering 300 tests a day to start.
“As soon as our processes get tight on this, we plan on ramping this up. And we also plan on making it available in pop up sites across the city,” said Chief Jim Davis, Fort Worth Fire Dept.
Other county test sites are also in the works. In addition to the East Arlington Library site, commissioners say they’re considering Sam Houston High School in a neighboring zip code with a high case count.
The plan is to open four permanent test sites paid for with federal dollars.
Commissioners also approved hiring nearly 200 contact tracers to investigate cases and notify the potentially infected at a cost of about $14 million.