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COVID-19 updates: Refrigerated mobile morgue deployed to Texas Health Fort Worth, spokesperson says

Tarrant County reported its second-highest total of hospitalizations Tuesday. The record was reported just one day ago.

This story will be updated throughout the day as new information is released.

A Texas Health spokesperson confirmed in an email to WFAA Tuesday night a refrigerated mobile morgue has been deployed to Texas Health Fort Worth in response to the rising number of COVID-19 deaths in Tarrant County.

"Sadly, these mobile morgues are in use," the spokesperson wrote. "The stark reality of this situation simply underscores how serious the COVID-19 pandemic is in North Texas. We cannot emphasize enough how this is a team effort — our caregivers will continue to fight on the front line, but we need North Texans to work with us to slow the transmission of the virus by wearing masks, washing their hands, maintaining social distance and avoiding large crowds."

Tarrant County reports more than 1,400 hospitalizations 2 days in a row

For the second day in a row, Tarrant County reported more than 1,400 hospitalizations of confirmed COVID-19 patients.

On Tuesday afternoon, health officials reported there were 1,426 beds occupied by COVID-19 patients and nearly 2,000 new cases. Eight more deaths were also confirmed.

The current number of COVID-19 patients in Tarrant County area-hospitals is the second-highest total reported since the start of the pandemic. The record-high was announced one day ago when 1,428 patients with COVID-19 were reported, according to the county's dashboard.

Hospitalizations have continued to increase in the past month, as there were 842 patients on Dec. 5. compared to the current amount. 

Overall, as a state, health officials reported nearly 13,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 Monday afternoon.

Due to the hospitalization rate, Texas Health Resources announced Tuesday morning that it will postpone all outpatient elective and non-essential surgeries and procedures.

For a daily roundup of the latest news from around North Texas and beyond, sign up for the WFAA email newsletter.

Dallas County reports nearly 3,000 cases and 20 deaths Tuesday

Dallas County Health and Human Services reported 2,794 new, positive cases of coronavirus Tuesday, along with 231 probable positive cases from antigen tests. There are now 182,156 confirmed cases and 22,218 probable cases reported in Dallas County since tracking began in March.

Tuesday's 20 deaths place the county at 1,698 deaths in Dallas County due to the coronavirus. All but two of the people reported dead Tuesday - a Mesquite man in his 80s and a Seagoville man in his 60s- had underlying health conditions, officials said.

The other 18 people reported dead are:

  • A Dallas woman in her 40s
  • A Dallas man in his 40s
  • A Mesquite man in his 50s who was living at a long-term care facility
  • A Mesquite man in his 50s
  • A Dallas woman in her 60s who was found dead at home
  • A Mesquite woman in her 60s
  • A Mesquite woman in her 60s
  • A Dallas man in his 60s
  • A Dallas man in his 70s
  • A Dallas man in his 70s
  • A Mesquite man in his 70s
  • A Garland woman in her 70s
  • A Mesquite woman in her 80s who was living at a long-term care facility
  • A Seagoville man in his 80s
  • A Dallas woman in her 80s
  • A Dallas man in his 80s who was living at a long-term care facility
  • A Dallas man in his 80s
  • A Dallas man in his 80s

Across North Texas, Trauma Service Area E has 1,508 total hospital beds available and just 61 ICU beds available. The region's hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients are at 25.4%, according to state numbers.

Houston region rolls back reopening to 50% capacity as hospitalizations rise statewide

The Houston region has rolled back reopening to 50% capacity and closed bars after seven days of high numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations. Region L (Killeen) has also rolled back. About half of Texas bars have converted to restaurants.

Now 84% of Texans are in areas that rolled back and 1 out of every 4 people in the hospital in Texas is a COVID-19 patient. Nearly half of all ICU beds are filled with COVID-19 patients, according to state health department data.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in D-FW continue to set record highs, up to 3,988 today. They’re up 161% since Nov. 1 and up 63% in the past month, which is more than double the peak set in July.

Texas is at 13,308 hospitalizations, up 49% in a month.

Carroll head football coach Riley Dodge tests positive for COVID-19

Carroll head football coach Riley Dodge announced Tuesday that he tested positive for coronavirus and is isolating at home. 

This means Dodge will miss Saturday’s state semi-final match-up against Duncanville. 

“While this is certainly disappointing timing for me, I am taking care of myself and getting the rest I need, expecting a full recovery. It’s important to me that we follow our typical protocols and schedule, keeping everyone focused on the kids, and on this week’s game," Dodge said in a written statement. 

Carroll ISD officials said contact tracing was conducted and no coaches or student-athletes are required to quarantine at this time. Health officials have asked the team and coaches to monitor their symptoms though.