Omicron-Fueled COVID Case Surge Appears to Have Peaked In Dallas County

The county’s 14-day average for new daily COVID-19 cases appears to have peaked at around 4,121 in the last few days.

While cases in the general population have peaked, new daily COVID-19 infections are still rising for children.

“For youth, there was a 9% week-over-week increase, and for elementary-school-aged, there was about a 19.4% week-over-week increase,” Dr. Philip Huang, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services, told the Dallas Morning News.

Children are less likely to be vaccinated against COVID-19, which is likely contributing to the high case count, he told the newspaper. Exposure at school and other activities also could account for some of the virus’ spread in that age group.

North Texas hospitals admitted at least six COVID-19-positive patients in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 3,991 in a large region that includes Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, and Denton counties, according to the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council. Of those patients, 190 are at Parkland Memorial Hospital, down 17 from the day before.

Coronavirus hospitalization numbers tend to lag a week or two behind new daily case numbers, so it could be days or weeks before hospitals see a consistent downward trend in COVID-positive admissions that mirrors the drop in total new infections.

Read more from the Dallas Morning News here.

“Hospitalizations in Dallas and Tarrant Counties are projected to continue to increase in the near term, putting a severe strain on local health systems and leading to increased wait times in emergency rooms across the region,” according to UT Southwestern Medical Center’s forecast.

View UTSW’s forecast here.
In other news:

  • Free N95 mask distribution began rolling out at select North Texas pharmacies. Read more from the Dallas Morning News here.
  • Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas confirmed to NBC 5 Wednesday afternoon there are at least three cases of “stealth omicron” in North Texas. Read more from NBCDFW here.
  • Two new CDC reports show that people who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines have the highest amount of protection against both the Delta and Omicron variants. One report found that, compared to up-to-date adults, unvaccinated adults had five times the risk of infection and more than 50 times the risk of COVID-19-associated death. Read more from the CDC here.

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