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COVID-19 updates: 4 regions have zero ICU beds, while COVID patients surge in North Texas region

DFW Hospital Council reported 71 COVID pediatric patients and said there are two available staffed pediatric ICU beds in hospital region E

DALLAS — The North Texas hospital region is continuing to experience an increase in COVID patients during this fourth surge.

According to the DFW Hospital Council, there are 3,272 COVID patients Tuesday in hospital region E, which encompasses multiple counties in North Texas. That's an increase of 136 patients compared to Monday, said Council President/CEO W. Stephen Love. 

COVID patients represent 22.3% of available bed capacity and 48.1% of adult ICU occupancy, Love said. The majority of patients are not vaccinated, Love said. There are 51 open and staffed adult ICU beds in region E. The rural counties are at or near capacity, Love said.

Hospitalized COVID patients per county:

  • Tarrant County - 1,084
  • Dallas County - 948
  • Collin County - 472
  • Denton County - 180
  • Hunt County - 68
  • Grayson County - 82
  • Ellis County - 97
  • Rockwall County - 120

The highest occupancy rate reported for Region E was in January 2021 with 27.17%. The lowest occupancy rate since April 2020 was recorded on June 5, 2021 at a 1.8% occupancy rate. During the surge in July 2020, COVID patients reached 14.15%. 

On Tuesday, the DFW Hospital Council reported 71 COVID pediatric patients and said there are two available staffed pediatric ICU beds in hospital region E.

"However, our pediatric hospitals are nimble and the excellent clinical leadership can adapt to the needs of the patients by making operational shifts like using pediatric recovery areas and potential CCU beds and other techniques when needed in high volume situations so the available staffed ICU bed metric alone should not be given full weight when evaluating treatment availability," Love said.

On Tuesday, the state reported 15,516 new cases and 199 newly reported deaths. Statewide, there are 13,666 people hospitalized with COVID and 365 available ICU beds.

Of the 22 hospital regions in the state, 15 had an increase in patients. Twelve of the regions had 10 or fewer ICU beds.

Regions D, N, T, and U have zero ICU beds:

D – Abilene

N – Bryan

T – Laredo

U – Corpus Christi

Credit: Tarrant County Public Health

Cook Children's makes changes amid influx of pediatric patients at Urgent Care Centers

Cook Children's is making changes at its seven Urgent Care Centers due to the influx of patients, the hospital system said Tuesday.

There is a high demand of recent patient volume, Cook Children's said. On Monday, the seven locations saw more than 1,000 patients in one day. Prior to the surge, the average number of patients seen in a day was about 600.

Beginning today, the following changes will take place:

  • All Cook Children’s Urgent Care Center locations are available for walk-in only. At this time, the UCCs are not taking online check-ins.
  • The outlying Cook Children’s Urgent Care locations will close at 9 p.m. and the Fort Worth location will close at midnight. 
  • Urgent Care Center locations will offer two options for patients.
    • One option will strictly be a lab-only visit for those patients that simply need a COVID-19 test but don’t need to be seen for an urgent care visit.
    • The other option will be the usual urgent care visit for all other patient needs.

"The Urgent Care Clinics and Cook Children's Emergency Department are seeing a big influx of parents bringing in children who have been exposed to COVID-19 but show no symptoms," Cook Children's said. "Please avoid using the Emergency Department for testing if your child is not showing symptoms. Click here to read more."

Dallas College announces paid inventive for students, staff to get fully-vaccinated

Dallas College announced incentives Tuesday for students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated.

There will be free vaccine clinics at each of the college's seven campuses, starting at Brookhaven and Mountain View and rotating to other campuses throughout the week, the college announced.

Free COVID testing will also be available on select campuses soon.

The vaccine and testing clinics are open to the public and all eligible students, faculty and staff.

Eligible students can get up to $200 for being fully vaccinated: $100 per shot of the two-shot Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and $200 for the single-shot Johnson & Johnson shot, the college said.

Students who are already vaccinated can show their vaccine card to receive the funds. Students who are not vaccinated would become eligible for the incentive upon receiving the vaccine between Aug. 30 and Nov. 15.

Dallas College employees can get a $500 incentive for full vaccination status. 

Denton County cases

Denton County reported 519 new cases of COVID and eight additional deaths Tuesday.

The additional deaths include:

  • A male over 80 who was a resident of Lewisville
  • A female in her 40s who was a resident of Lewisville
  • A male in his 60s who was a resident of Lake Dallas
  • A female in her 60s who was a resident of unincorporated southwest Denton County
  • A male in his 60s who was a resident of unincorporated northwest Denton County
  • A female in her 70s who was a resident of Denton
  • A male in his 60s who was a resident of Denton
  • A male in his 60s who was a resident of unincorporated northeast Denton County

There have been 86,996 COVID-19 cases in the county and 650 deaths since tracking began.

Tarrant County cases

Tarrant County reported 654 new cases of COVID and four additional deaths Tuesday.

There are 978 COVID patients, which is a decrease of 89 from Monday. There are 307 COVID patients on ventilators, an increase of 27 from Monday.

There have been 295,152 cases and 654 deaths in the county since tracking began, according to the county dashboard.