DALLAS (NewsNation Now) — The number of COVID hospitalizations in the Dallas Fort Worth area has hit an all-time high — surpassing July’s peak.
Dallas is second only to El Paso, which is one of the worst hotbeds in the country. Medical professionals say if DFW hospitals continue down this path, the local economy might have to adjust, as well.
“Currently we have 2,219 patients in our hospitals with COVID-19,” said Stephen Love, President and CEO of the Dallas Fort Worth Hospital Council.
The trauma region that Love represents is made up of 19 North Texas counties, five of which contain 95% of the 2,219 COVID patients he numbered for NewsNation. The functionality of hospitals in the Dallas area, he says, is a real concern.
“The healthcare heroes, they are so tired and fatigued,” said Love.
DFW saw its former record-high hospitalizations in July with fewer than 2,000. Love says case counts are rising as the weeks get colder.
“One, it’s Halloween parties,” he said. “We’ve had much more movement, people going to athletic events, people going to bars, restaurants, more family gatherings.”
Love says if this continues, it won’t just be the hospitals feeling the strain. He worries about a Texas economy that Governor Greg Abbott’s latest executive order has threatened to throw back in reverse.
“At any given time that the COVID-19 patients equal 15% or greater of the total available beds, it starts a clock and that clock goes for seven days,” said Love. “And if you go seven days where you’re at 15% or higher, then you’re deemed in a problem situation.”
On Tuesday, DFW currently sat at 14.4% — a number Love says he expects to hit 15 this week. Dallas County has the second most active cases in the state — second to and more than doubled by El Paso.
“Your infection rate is spreading quicker than you want it to, and if that continues and we don’t tap it down — yes, we could be another El Paso,” said Love.