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COVID-19 updates: North Texas sets new hospitalization record before slight decrease

Hospitalizations jumped from 4,014 patients on Monday to the record mark Tuesday.

DALLAS — The North Texas region set a new record for most COVID-19 hospitalizations, with 4,180 patients on Tuesday, though patients decreased on Wednesday, according state data and local officials.

Hospitalizations jumped from 4,014 patients on Monday to the record mark Tuesday. On Wednesday, the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council reported 4,082 patients with COVID-19.

"We are glad to see this decrease, but one day is certainly not a trend so we will carefully monitor the volume the remainder of this week," Stephen Love, president of the hospital council, said in his daily update.

COVID-19 patients account for about 27% of all patients in North Texas hospitals, according to Love. North Texas has 162 children hospitalized with COVID-19, an increase of 10 patients from Tuesday.

Overall, the region has 42 intensive care beds available.

"Our number one concern is staffing as our healthcare heroes are fatigued and we need additional staffing for all our patients," Love said.

Hospitalizations had surged in recent weeks, more than quadrupling in North Texas over the last month. Hospitalizations in North Texas were at 809 patients on Dec. 18.

Statewide, hospitalizations jumped to 12,905 on Tuesday, below the pandemic record but up 322% in the last month.

A sliver of good news for Texas is that the state's seven-day average positivity rate has ticked down slightly each of the last six days, from 35.39% on Jan. 12 to 33.70% on Tuesday.

Grapevine-Colleyville ISD shuts down for 2 days

With hundreds of students and staff in isolation, the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District in Tarrant County will shut down on Thursday and Friday because of a rise in COVID-19 cases.

GCISD, which serves about 14,000 students across 20 campuses, plans to return to class on Monday, officials said in a news release Wednesday afternoon.

The district will also take the time to clean all campuses and facilities. 

The district reported 233 new positive student and staff COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, and 683 students are currently in isolation due to a positive test, officials said.

On Wednesday, the district needed 169 substitute teachers and only 76 of those positions were filled.

Tarrant County reports 4 COVID-19 deaths

Tarrant County health officials reported four COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday.

The victims were a man in his 90s from Grapevine, a man in his 80s from Fort Worth, a woman in her 80s from Bedford and a woman in her 60s from Fort Worth. All had underlying health conditions, officials said.

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