DALLAS — Children's hospitals in North Texas are over 97% capacity and available beds for adults are also declining, health officials said Monday.
This news comes as more districts start the school year without the ability to require masks, per an executive order from Gov. Greg Abbott. Children under 12 are unable to get vaccinated.
Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council President Stephen Love said the supply of available adult ICU beds is getting low in North Texas and this fourth surge of COVID could be the worst we've had to deal with so far.
"Some people just do not understand we need ICU beds for car wrecks, heart attacks, strokes, etc., not just COVID-19," Love said.
The state health department reported there are 100 available ICU beds in the region as of Monday afternoon.
"North Texas could easily run out of ICU beds very soon," Love said. "This Delta variant is a game-changer and unfortunately many people are not taking the precautions needed to slow the virus spread which is very unfortunate."
He said people need to get vaccinated, wear masks, stay out of large crowds and cancel meetings/conferences where there are more than 12 people.
Tarrant County reported 929 new cases and five deaths Monday. There are 745 confirmed COVID patients in hospital beds and 242 occupied ventilators, county officials said.
Hospitalizations in North Texas
The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council reported an increase of 181 COVID patients in Region E hospitals since Sunday, from 2,152 to 2,333 patients.
Region E depicts North Texas counties and beyond for metrics kept by the state health department.
"This represents 16.59% of bed capacity and 39.51% of adult ICU patients which means well over a third of our adult ICU patients have COVID-19," Love said. He said the majority of patients are not vaccinated.
Patients per county as of Monday:
- Tarrant: 819
- Dallas: 682
- Collin: 294
- Denton: 126
- Hunt: 45
- Grayson: 73
- Ellis: 65
- Rockwall: 87
Hospitalizations in Region E have increased approximately four and a half times in 30 days, Love said.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins told WFAA on Monday afternoon that there were currently no ICU beds for children in the county and there were about a dozen left in the county for adults.
As of Monday, there are 55 confirmed COVID-19 pediatric patients hospitalized in Region E, which represents some of the highest levels of pediatric COVID-19 patients the region has ever treated, Love said.
The area children's hospitals are treating an unusual number of RSV patients for the summer season, Love said. The occupancy rate of all inpatient pediatric patients to bed capacity is 93.91%.
Children's Health in Dallas reported that there are currently 33 patients who are hospitalized with COVID.
Cook Children's reported there are currently 16 patients being treated for COVID. The seven-day positivity rate is 12.3% and the overall positivity is 6.8%.
Regions across the state
Out of the 22 hospital regions across the state, 21 of them reported an increase in confirmed COIVD-19 patients Monday.
Eleven of the regions reported 10 or fewer ICU beds with the Laredo region still reporting zero ICU beds.
Sixteen of the regions now have over 100 confirmed COVID-19 patients in the hospital.
Prevent the spread
"Vaccinations are absolutely helping protect people and the unvaccinated are very much at risk with the increase in the Delta variant so wearing masks is also another effective tool against COVID-19," Love said.
Love shared that these are things we all can do to help prevent the Delta variant spread:
- If not vaccinated, please talk to a trusted source, do your own scientific research and get vaccinated as soon as possible. Do it for the children under 12 (if for no other reason) as they can’t get vaccinated and need us to help protect them.
- Wear a mask if you are vaccinated or not vaccinated. There was a town in Massachusetts where many vaccinated people contracted the Delta variant but none died thanks to the vaccines.
- Please conduct virtual meetings for at least the short term rather than potential spreader in-person events like annual meetings or large events. We all have a responsibility to stop this Delta variant spread in North Texas.