Updated at 5:35 p.m. Monday to reflect another consecutive day above 15%.
For the fourth consecutive day, more than 15% of North Texas hospital beds are now taken up by patients fighting the coronavirus.
If that number remains above 15% for seven days in a row, an order by Gov. Greg Abbott requires the 19-county region to rollback restaurant capacity to 50% and bars must also close.
The 19-county region includes Dallas and Tarrant counties and smaller counties like Rockwall, Wise, and Denton counties.
President of the Dallas County Medical Society, Dr. Mark Casanova, says the public needs to help out the medical community in this challenging time.
“It’s as bad as it has been and it’s going to get worse,” Casanova said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that the numbers will continue to increase in the coming weeks and the coming months.”
“My message to the public is it’s never too late," Casanova said. "It’s never too late to get back to where we were in the spring and summer. There is hope on the horizon. A vaccine is coming, but we can’t spike the football before we’re in the end zone.”
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says it doesn’t help that it’s getting colder. More people are gathering indoors at restaurants and bars. Families will soon gather too and potentially travel for upcoming holidays.
“We have a lot of things going against us, but what we have going for us is two things really – one is that a vaccine is coming but it is not here yet," Jenkins said. "The other thing is the spirit of Texans. Do not give up. Be sacrificial, be patriotic, avoid those crowds, postpone those get togethers and wear that mask.”
Casanova says the medical community is feeling the impact of the increased COVID hospitalizations.
“They are fatigued to their core,” Casanova said.
That’s why he says a little help from the public can go a long way.
“Let’s buckle up, let’s get strong, let’s support each other, and we can do this,” Casanova said. “The house of medicine as I lovingly refer to it as, is not often in a position to ask for help. We’re usually there to serve, we’re delving out guidance and counsel to promote health, but we desperately need help right now.”