FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The number of COVID-19 patients in hospital beds in Tarrant County reached a new high mark for the seventh straight day.

There were 1,139 COVID-19 patients in hospital beds Monday, Dec. 21.

Overall hospital capacity is holding steady at 79%.

Data from the Texas Department of State Health Services shows only El Paso County has more active cases than Tarrant County.

Cases in El Paso have been dropping however since November, while they are still climbing in North Texas.

Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja said Tuesday, Dec. 22, the county has been leading the state in new cases for weeks, although the steady climb hasn’t grabbed the attention like a sharp spike would have.

“It does not surprise me that the disease activity is very high in the community, because when you have a lot of people out, and doing routine things, like shopping for Christmas and all those type of things, diseases do spread,” he said. “And there’s limited impact you can do by just wearing a mask.”

Taneja expects cases and hospitalizations to continue to rise for the next few weeks.

The health department was preparing Tuesday for the next allocation of vaccine doses, anticipated shortly after Christmas.

Just under 25,000 doses are expected to be spread out among 38 different entities when it arrives.

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