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Tarrant County 'sky-high with COVID issues,' health officials say | Coronavirus updates

Here is the latest.

DALLAS —

COVID in Tarrant County

According to numbers from Tarrant County, there were 4,402 new COVID cases recorded in the county, with six deaths, bringing the county's total deaths to 5,085.

Among those who died were:

  • a woman from Fort Worth older than 90
  • two men from Fort Worth in their 70s
  • a man from Fort Worth in his 50s
  • a woman from Mansfield in her 40s
  • a woman from Arlington in her 40s

All had underlying health conditions, health officials said.

The hospital situation in Tarrant County looks grim, with 92% of total hospital beds occupied, with 27% of those total beds occupied by COVID patients; 97% of adult ICU beds are occupied. 

Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja said in Tuesday's commissioner's court meeting that Tarrant is "sky-high with COVID issues."

Taneja said 4-in-10 people are testing positive for COVID. 

"That's a lot of disease activity happening in the area," he said.

Over the last week, Taneja said the rate of transmission in the county stood at 1,000 cases per 100,000 people, meaning that a full 1% of the county's population (roughly 23,000 - 24,000 people) came down with COVID. For comparison, "high" transmission as defined by the CDC is 100 or more cases per 100,000 people. 

"That's a pandemic high," Taneja said.

Also at a pandemic high are the number of pediatric hospitalizations. Currently, Tarrant County has 45 kids confirmed with COVID, which is one more than the county's previous pediatric hospitalization peak.

RELATED: Where can you get a COVID-19 test in North Texas? It's complicated

Trauma Service Area E hospitalizations

Health officials said 265 more patients have been hospitalized in the region in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of hospitalizations in the region to 3,664. 

Another 23 pediatric patients have also been hospitalized since Monday, bringing the total number of pediatric COVID patients to 147.

Denton County COVID numbers

The Denton County Public Health (DCPH) announced that there are 1,154 new and active cases of COVID-19 in Denton County, increasing the county's cumulative total to 122,464 COVID-19 cases. 

DCPH also reported 98 newly recovered cases of COVID-19, increasing the countywide recovery total to 109,964

Dallas County COVID numbers

Health officials say Dallas County has logged a three-day total of nearly 12,700 new COVID cases. This brings the total number of cases in the county to 393,507 cases.

A total of 5,621 people in the county have lost their lives to COVID since the start of the pandemic.

Among those who died in the latest report:

  • A woman in her 50’s who was a resident of the City of Farmers Branch 
  • A man in his 60’s who was a resident of the City of Garland         
  • A woman in her 60’s who was a resident of the City of Dallas
  • A woman in her 70’s who was a resident of the City of Duncanville           
  • A woman in her 70’s who was a resident of the City of Grand Prairie    
  • A woman in her 80’s who was a resident of the City of Dallas          
  • A woman in her 80’s who was a resident of the City of Duncanville
  • A man in his 90’s who was a resident of the City of Garland        

All had underlying health conditions, according to health officials.

Currently, the county's COVID positivity rate stands at just under 42%, with health officials reporting 53 active COVID outbreaks at long-term care facilities. 

As of the last week of December, about 77% of Dallas County residents older than 12 have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.

Kelly Canon dies after being hospitalized for COVID, pneumonia

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Kelly Canon, an Arlington Republican known for her work to ban red light cameras and for her vocal opposition to vaccine mandates, died Monday.

She was remembered as a "headstrong activist and a grassroots leader" by Rick Barnes, the president of the Tarrant County Republican Party.

Read more on the Start-Telegram.

Lewisville Animal Shelter closes due to COVID cases among staff

The Gene Carey Animal Shelter and Adoption Center in Lewisville is temporarily closing to the public due to an increase in COVID cases among the staff members, the City said Tuesday morning.

The facility is set to reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 18. Staff members will still care for the animals at the shelter and Animal Service Officers will respond to animal emergencies during the closure.

"The closure of this facility is being done in an attempt to protect the health of staff and visitors," the City said.

Animal surrenders and animal adoptions will continue by appointment only. Appointments can be made online at lewisvillepets.com.

Dallas ISD announces pay incentives for substitutes

Many districts are experiencing staff shortages during this wave of COVID cases. Dallas ISD announced they will pay substitute teachers an additional $50 per day on top of their regular rate. This incentive started last Friday.

"This way, our students will continue to enjoy top-quality teachers in their classrooms even during a COVID eventuality," the district said.

Last week, of the more than 10,000 teachers, the district averaged 200 teachers out due to COVID, the district said.

Ellis Davis Fieldhouse testing site

Beginning Tuesday, the COVID testing site at Ellis Davis Fieldhouse will only be available by appointment only. 

Click here for appointment info.