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Tarrant County ICU Occupancy Drops to 97%; TCPH Adds 3,410 Cases, 12 Deaths Wednesday – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

The Tarrant County Public Health Department says ICUs in the county are at 97% capacity Wednesday while adding an additional 3,410 new cases of COVID-19 along with 12 more deaths.

According to the TCPH COVID-19 dashboard, there were 1,489 COVID-19 patients in county hospitals through Tuesday, 73 more than on Monday. COVID-19 patients are making up 29% of all county hospital patients and 25.4% of all hospital patients in TSA-E. The total bed occupancy rate for all hospital beds in the county is now at 87%, a drop of 3% from Tuesday. Adult ICU capacity in Tarrant County decreased to 97% according to the TCPH COVID-19 dashboard.

Though the hospital capacities are getting close to 100%, officials stressed last week they have surge plans to expand capacity if necessary.

“Hospitals have pandemic surge plans. Let me not scare people, that they don’t know or they don’t have the capacity. They do, but do you really want to stretch that capacity? We already know we’re thin on staffing,” Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinnu Taneja said Tuesday. “Staff has been working in the hospital for close to 10 months dealing with a lot of COVID and illness. They’re tired. Some of them had COVID, family with COVID, some of them died. So, do you really want to stretch that capacity?”

In the last seven days, the county has announced 18,400 new and probable cases of the virus or an average of 2,628 per day. Data from the county health department indicated there were 2,777 more confirmed cases than the most recent report and 633 more probable cases. To date, the county has reported 144,103 confirmed cases of the virus and 21,185 probable cases for a total of 165,288 cases.

The county is also reporting another 1,799 estimated recoveries, bringing the total number of survivors to 118,933. There are currently an estimated 44,794 active cases in the county, the most of any North Texas county.

The latest victims included a man from Arlington in his 90s, a man from Euless in his 90s, a woman from Fort Worth in her 90s, a woman from Hurst in her 90s, a woman from unincorporated Tarrant County in her 90s, a woman from North Richland Hills in her 80s, a woman from Arlington in her 80s, a man from Bedford in his 80s, a man from Mansfield in his 80s, two women from Fort Worth in their 80s and a man from Arlington in his 60s. All had underlying health conditions.

TCPH now reports 1,561 deaths attributed to the virus since March 2020.

County officials also said Wednesday that 9,390 vaccines have been distributed in the county.

Tarrant County, which has extended its mask mandate until Feb. 28, 2021, began reporting both probable and confirmed cases of COVID-19 in August 2020 at the request of the state health department. Probable cases, the county said, account for a variety of real-world situations and could highlight cases in the community that may otherwise go unreported.

COVID-19 causes a respiratory illness with cough, fever and shortness of breath and may lead to bronchitis, severe pneumonia or even death. For more information go to coronavirus.tarrantcounty.com or call the Tarrant County Public Health information line, 817-248-6299, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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