DALLAS — COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising not only across Texas but specifically in North Texas as well.
The majority of the state's new cases are from the Delta variant, according to Chris Van Deusen, spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services.
"It's certainly something that we're concerned about and something we're talking about," Van Deusen said. "It really is tearing through Texas."
Texas has had 18,733 new reported cases in the past 4 days, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
This is the most Texas has had in a 4-day stretch since early March of this year.
There are also currently 3,890 Texans hospitalized with COVID-19, the highest mark since mid-March.
"It just spread so quickly," Van Deusen said. "It really is tearing through Texas. Particularly those unvaccinated populations."
It's an uptick happening across North Texas, too.
There are currently 1,035 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in North Texas hospitals, according to W. Stephen Love. He is the CEO of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council. There were 976 hospitalizations the previous day.
Here is a breakdown of where these hospitalizations are currently coming from:
- Tarrant County - 358
- Dallas County - 292
- Collin County - 157
- Denton County - 49
- Rockwall County - 37
- Grayson County - 30
- Hunt County - 28
"As a point of reference, we had 325 COVID-19 patients in the hospitals on June 23 so as you can tell, our hospitalizations have increased significantly in 30 days," Love said in a press release. "Currently, we have 103 available adult staffed ICU beds. We have 129 adult COVID-19 patients on ventilators.”
Dr. Phillip Huang is the director of Dallas County Health and Human Services. He met with other Dallas County health officials Friday afternoon to talk about the possibility of moving the county's COVID-19 risk level from yellow to orange.
"Most all the hospitalizations we're seeing are in unvaccinated persons," Huang said. "It's in these younger populations that we're seeing the cases."
More than 75% of Texans 65 and older are fully vaccinated, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
About 84% of Dallas County residents 65 and older are fully vaccinated, according to Huang.
This is a big reason why Texas long-term care facilities and nursing homes haven't seen a similar spike in cases, according to the former president of the Dallas County Medical Society Mark Casanova.
Casanova said he expects a rise in deaths in the coming days and weeks. However, he also said since the older population is heavily protected, it shouldn't be as bad as this past summer.
"We have, quite literally a magic bullet," Casanova said. "The magic wand we were waiting for in the form of a vaccine."
Van Deusen said he hopes those still considering getting the vaccine will choose to do so.
"It does a very, very good job, even against the variants, of keeping you out of the hospital and keeping you from dying," Van Deusen said.