North Texas COVID-19 outbreak shows signs of plateauing, health officials say

Hospitalizations in North Texas have surged again even as county health directors have pushed a cautiously optimistic view of this current surge.

They say they’re starting to see signs that the omicron wave is beginning to plateau.

After a small drop in hospitalizations on Monday, there is another increase with more than 4,000 COVID-19 patients in North Texas.

That’s the highest number North Texas has reached since last January and one of the highest we’ve seen since the pandemic began.

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North Texas health officials are optimistic we may soon surpass the hump in terms of new COVID cases. The state’s positivity rate has declined for three straight days since Friday. But hospitalizations show no signs of decreasing yet.

After a brief dip on Monday, they jumped again on Tuesday. But compared to the number of new cases, it could be worse.

“The cases are more than double, and yet the hospitalizations are about equal,” Denton County Public Health Director Dr. Matt Richardson said. “So it’s very good news that this wave, this surge is not causing double the hesitation compared to last year or even the delta.”

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This can be attributed, in part, to the fact that more people who are vaccinated are getting infected and they are even less likely to get sick enough to be hospitalized.

UNT Health Sciences Center epidemiologist Shane Fernando also claims that the omicron variant affects the body differently.

“It seems to reside primarily in the upper respiratory region of the human body, and it doesn’t do that very well,” he said.

But Fernando says it’s too early to see if this surge will result in the number of deaths we’ve seen with previous surges.

“I still see that the number of deaths is mainly due to the delta. But we will not yet see in the long term how many deaths have been attributed to the omicron.”

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Health officials are looking to other states while trying to determine when the omicron surge will peak.

“It’s accelerated very quickly and in other places like New York and other parts of the country. We’re seeing a big drop following this upsurge. So hopefully that will happen here as well,” the manager said. of Tarrant County Public Health, Vinny. Taneja.

But Fernando warns that the decline in Texas might not be as steep.

“Because our vaccination rates are so low compared to the northeast, we are less likely to see such a rapid decline,” he said.

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Richardson and Fernando agree that the next 10 days are key to determining where we are in the wave.

Stephen Love from DFW Hospital Council says we might even have a clear picture by the end of the week.

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