Garland’s COVID-19 cases have been trending downward for almost three months now — mostly.
That comes with a couple of exceptions. The week before Thanksgiving, the city saw a 7% increase in active cases. Last week, they dipped by more than 20%. This week, active cases went up again by 10.5%.
Cases are generally much lower than in September when the delta variant spike hit its peak in the city and 2,525 residents tested positive for COVID-19.
Late last month, Dallas County’s COVID-19 dashboard shifted to show an orange risk level, indicating moderate community risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients are trending down across North Texas, health officials say.
New admissions for coronavirus have been declining in the four most-populous North Texas counties, according to a recent forecast from UT Southwestern.
Overall, North Texas counties “tend to be moving in the correct direction,” Steve Love, president and CEO of the DFW Hospital Council, told The Dallas Morning News earlier this fall.
However, hospitalization levels for COVID-19 might flatten out or increase in the coming months without increases in vaccination levels or adherence to mitigation strategies, according to UT Southwestern.
Cases in Garland are on the decline, but the number of active cases this week is still much higher than it was in the middle of the summer.
Active cases this week are 98% higher than they were in mid-July, which was just before the arrival of the more contagious delta variant that fueled a spike in cases.
The new omicron variant of the coronavirus recently popped up around the world, raising concerns about potential surges in cases.
The first case of the omicron variant in Texas was reported Dec. 6. Dr. John Hellerstedt, a Department of State Health Services commissioner, told The Dallas Morning News that the variant’s arrival in Texas was unsurprising.
”It’s normal for viruses to mutate, and given how quickly omicron spread in southern Africa, we’re not surprised that it showed up here,” Hellerstedt said.
The omicron variant, first detected in South Africa, appears to have more than 30 mutations in the coronavirus’ spike protein, which could affect how easily it spreads to people. U.S. health officials are urging unvaccinated Americans to get their shots and eligible adults to get booster shots.
Here’s how COVID-19 has affected Garland:
Updated case numbers
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Garland has recorded a total of 40,049 cases, according to the city’s website.
To date, at least 16.3% of Garland’s total population has had the virus, the city said.
As of Dec. 8, that number includes 315 active cases.
Here’s a look at the number of active COVID-19 cases in Garland over the past few months:
|Week||Number of active COVID-19 cases, per the city|
The city’s health department updates case counts each Monday, and The News updates this article weekly on Wednesdays.
The city’s COVID-tracking page also added one new deaths this week, bringing the total up to 616.
With an estimated population of 246,018 residents, most of Garland is in Dallas County, with small portions crossing into Collin and Rockwall counties. At the county level, Dallas County does not report which cases are considered active or recovered.
|Active cases||315||Not available|
Who can get the vaccine, and where can they get it in Garland?
For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, visit The Dallas Morning News’ vaccine guide with everything you need to know here.
Eligible adults and children can get their vaccine at Garland Public Health Clinic, 206 Carver Drive, without an appointment. The clinic offers walk-in vaccinations Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., per the city website.
Anyone who is medically unable to come to the clinic can contact the Garland Health Department at 972-205-3900 to make alternative arrangements.
The city maintains a list of clinics and health care facilities where residents can obtain a COVID-19 test at no cost. Mass vaccination events at Homer B. Johnson Stadium have taken place several times since the Moderna vaccine’s rollout.
What’s open, closed
- City council resumed in-person meetings in September.
- Libraries are open.
- Some recreation centers are closed for renovations, not because of COVID-19 protocols.
- All open recreational centers are operating at 100% capacity, and parks, trails, tennis courts and disc golf courses are open. Visit the city website here to see which recreation centers are open.
The district’s temporary mask mandate, which went into effect on Sept. 1, expired in late October. The majority of the district’s 71 campuses had a small percentage of students exempt from the mask mandate, according to data from the district. Eleven Garland ISD campuses had an exemption rate of 5 percent or more, The News found in an open records request.
The district also offered a parent-led temporary virtual learning option, which ended on Nov. 19. Students who didn’t enroll or qualify for ICON, the district’s virtual school, returned to in-person learning on Nov. 29.
Garland ISD has also teamed up with the city’s health department to offer local vaccine clinics.
Tom Steele, Maggie Prosser, Catherine Marfin and Chloe Bennett contributed to this report.