DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – During the past two weeks, hospitalizations for COVID-19 have increased by 9% in Dallas County and 13% in Tarrant County, according to a UT Southwestern analysis of case data.
Some public health experts are worried the situation will only get worse after all the Fourth of July festivities.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Is Another Relief Payment Coming Soon?
“The fact that families and friends were together this weekend, does pose an increased risk for transmitting the COVID virus,” said Jessica Rangel, senior vice president at UNT Health Science Center. “Because our pandemic’s not over. It feels like it is, but it is absolutely not over.”
According to the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, there are currently 415 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Trauma Service E, which covers the Metroplex.
Stephen Love, the president and CEO of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, says that’s up nearly 60% from this time last month.READ MORE: Parker County Sheriff's Bust Multi-State Scam, Arrest Seventy 18 Construction Owner Richard Wortham
“Now don’t get me wrong, much better than the 4,250 back in the middle of January, but it’s the highest it’s been since the latter part of May,” Love said.
Experts say the steady increase of hospitalizations over the past few weeks comes as people are socializing more, vaccination rates hover just under 50% in Dallas and Tarrant Counties, and the more contagious delta variant is starting to take hold.
“And that’s a recipe for potentially more cases, more hospitalizations, and more deaths,” said Love.
Hospitals report the majority of serious cases in people who have not been vaccinated.MORE NEWS: 'More Protections Needed In Schools', Director Of Teacher's Union Concerned About Delta Variant
“With the vaccination rate 48 to 49 percent, that means nearly half of us are still very, very vulnerable and now is the time to act and make a decision that’s informed,” Rangel said. “And my hope is that individuals will get vaccinated.”