North Texas Sees Highest Hospitalizations Ever as Coronavirus Cases Spike

North Texas saw its highest number of coronavirus hospitalizations Thursday since the start of the pandemic, as the number of confirmed cases spiked.

Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) saw 392 new confirmed cases in the region, bringing the total number of cases in the county to 15,648. There are now 423 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Dallas County, and 923 total coronavirus hospitalizations across the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metroplex.

Twenty-five hospitals in Dallas have reported that 70 percent of their beds have been taken up and 75 percent of their intensive care unit (ICU) beds are also in use. North Texas, which has an approximate population of over 7.5 million people, has about 90 hospitals with over 14,000 beds, according to a March 18 report by The Dallas Morning News.

Texas has a total of 99,851 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 2,105 deaths attributed to the virus. It is estimated that there are about 34,000 active cases, and 63,812 recoveries thus far, according to the Department of State Health Services. Dallas County has the most cases in the state, with Harris County, where Houston is located, sitting on top of the list.

During a press conference Thursday, Governor Greg Abbott assured state residents that there is plenty of hospital space in the state to meet a surge in cases.

"We are here today to let Texans know about the abundant hospital capacity that exists to treat Texans who may test positive for COVID-19...There are thousands of beds that are available as we speak right now, and then there is the ability to surge even more hospital beds if they were ever to be needed to respond to COVID-19," the governor said, adding that non-essential procedures could also be reduced to add more beds.

Mark Casanova, president of the Dallas County Medical Society, stated in an interview Thursday with FOX 4 News that ICU patients in particular are a concern to the region.

"Patients who land in the ICU tend to be there for a very prolonged period of time. We're talking about four weeks to eight-week range, so that high degree of ICU capacity is extremely concerning because those folks aren't going to be leaving very soon," Casanova said.

"It's hard to know what our threshold is. Obviously, if we start to broach the 90 percent occupancy rate, that's a real serious situation," Casanova said.

Newsweek reached out to DCHHS for further comments on the situation in Dallas, but did not receive a response back in time for publication.

The Blue Angels Fly Over Dallas Area
People gather to watch the U.S. Navy Blue Angels flyover downtown Dallas to honor healthcare, frontline and essential workers on May 06, 2020. Dallas County recently reported the highest number of hospitalizations since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Getty/Ronald Martinez