DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The COVID-19 omicron variant is spreading through Dallas like never before.
On Thursday, Dec. 30, new COVID-19 patient numbers at Parkland Memorial Hospital reflect a trend Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joseph Chang describes as “scary.”
“The speed at which this is occurring, is really different and remarkable,” he said.
Less than a week ago, Parkland’s Emergency Room had about 35 COVID-19 patients.
Monday, that number was roughly 85, and on Thursday they were treating about 125.
In response, they’ve opened two new COVID-19 wards this week, for a total of three, and says a fourth isn’t out of the question for next week.
When you combine COVID-19 cases with other hospitalizations, Parkland says it’s seen a record numbers of patients: about 1,000 on Monday alone.
“That’s the highest on recorded history for Parkland Hospital,” Dr. Chang said.
It comes as earlier in the week, Dallas county updated its COVID-19 risk level to “red,” prompting the hospital to limit visiting hours to between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. starting Friday, Dec. 31.
As of now Dallas County is only reporting 62% of residents are fully vaccinated.
While Parkland reports it’s those who aren’t, inside their emergency rooms.
“We’re still seeing over 90% of the folks who are admitted are unvaccinated,” he said. “I ask, implore and beg everybody to get vaccinated. Get your shield put on. That’s the only way out of this.”