Dallas County on Saturday added a record 2,183 coronavirus cases, all of them considered new. It was the first time the county has reported more than 2,000 cases in a single day without a significant portion coming from previous months, and it continues the menacing trend of rapidly rising case numbers.
Nine new COVID-19 deaths were also reported Saturday.
All of the latest victims lived in Dallas and had underlying health problems. They include a man in his 40s, two women and a man in their 50s, a man in his 60s, two men and a woman in their 70s, and a woman in her 80s.
With Thanksgiving just days away, the soaring numbers underscore the need for county residents to heed medical experts’ guidance and limit attendance at holiday get-togethers, County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a written statement.
“I know this is disappointing news for Thanksgiving, but we have so much to be thankful for,” Jenkins said. “We must focus on what we’re thankful for and protecting it for the future and not give in to momentary weakness or selfishness that will lead to bad decisions.”
Of the new cases reported Saturday, 1,741 are confirmed and 442 are probable. The county’s total confirmed cases now stand at 117,151 and total probable cases are at 11,173. The county has recorded 1,184 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 26 probable deaths.
The county recently announced it is counting only positive antigen tests (sometimes called rapid tests) as probable cases; a few antibody and “household” results were included previously.
While other North Texas counties provide estimates for how many people have recovered from the virus, Dallas County officials do not report recoveries, noting that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not use that metric.
Health officials use hospitalizations, intensive-care admissions and emergency room visits as key metrics to track the real-time impact of COVID-19 in the county. In the 24-hour period that ended Friday, 738 COVID-19 patients were in acute care in hospitals in the county. During the same period, 545 ER visits were for symptoms of the disease.
The county’s provisional seven-day average of daily new confirmed and probable cases for the latest reporting period, Nov. 8-14, was 1,321 — a rate of 50.1 daily new cases per 100,000 residents. It’s the highest rate the county has seen throughout the entire pandemic.
County officials said that during the same reporting period, 1,224 school-age children tested positive for COVID-19. Since Nov. 1, a total of 2,851 positive cases have been diagnosed in students and staff across over 558 K-12 schools in Dallas County — along with 116 additional cases in children attending county daycares.
The coronavirus is also surging again in long-term care facilities, endangering elderly and immune-compromised residents who are most vulnerable to complications from COVID-19.
According to county data, as of Friday, 856 coronavirus cases — including 304 among staff members — had been reported across 84 long-term care facilities over the previous 30 days. The number of facilities with active outbreaks — meaning a new case has been reported within the past 28 days, a county spokeswoman said — is the most at one time since the outset of the pandemic.
Of the county’s total confirmed COVID-19 deaths, about 23% are associated with long-term care facilities.
Dallas County doesn’t provide a positivity rate for all COVID-19 tests conducted in the area; county health officials have said they don’t have an accurate count of how many tests are conducted each day. But as of the county’s most recent reporting period, 16.8% of people who showed up at hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms tested positive for the virus. That’s an increase from the previous reporting period, when 15.3% such patients tested positive.
Jenkins has pointed out that because the county bases its report on the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention schedule, the seven-day average, total cases among school-age children and positive respiratory specimen rate all lag by at least seven days.
Across the state, a record 12,597 cases were announced Saturday, as were 171 new COVID-19 deaths. Texas has now reported 1,085,524 confirmed cases and 20,467 fatalities.
There are 8,245 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals, including 2,321 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Texas’ seven-day average positivity rate, based on the date of test specimen collection, was 11.8% as of Friday. State health officials said using data based on when people were tested provides the most accurate positivity rate.
The state also provides a positivity rate based on when lab results were reported to the state; that rate stood at 12.6% as of Friday.
Officials previously calculated Texas’ coronavirus positivity rate by dividing the most recent seven days of new positive test results by the most recent seven days of total new test results. By that measure, the positivity rate is now 10%, according to the state dashboard.
A spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services said that positivity rate data based on lab results and new cases will likely be phased out but is still being provided for transparency and continuity purposes.
Tarrant County reported 1,368 coronavirus cases and two new deaths Saturday.
It was the fourth straight day — and eighth in the last 10 — that the county’s daily total has exceeded 1,000 cases.
The county did not immediately release information about the latest victims.
The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 90,316, including 80,157 confirmed cases, 10,159 probable cases and 65,340 recoveries. The death toll stands at 824.
According to Saturday’s numbers on the county dashboard, 776 people are hospitalized with the virus.
The state added 322 coronavirus cases to Collin County’s total Saturday, bringing the tally to 22,691. Four new COVID-19 fatalities also were reported, bringing the death toll to 238.
No details about the latest victims were available.
According to state data, the county has 2,318 active cases of the virus.
The county’s coronavirus dashboard provides only total hospitalizations, which stand at 272.
Denton County reported 310 coronavirus cases — of which 186 are active — and no new deaths Saturday.
The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 21,453, including 4,617 that are active and 16,690 that are recoveries. The death toll stands at 146.
The newly reported cases raised the county’s total molecular cases to 18,382, while antigen cases stand at 3,071.
A record 125 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the county’s data. Of those patients, 41 are being treated in intensive care units — also the most of any time during the pandemic.
The Texas Department of State Health Services has taken over reporting for these other North Texas counties. In some counties, new data may not be reported every day.
The latest numbers are:
- Rockwall County: 2,538 cases, 36 deaths.
- Kaufman County: 4,315 cases, 74 deaths.
- Ellis County: 6,107 cases, 106 deaths.
- Johnson County: 4,842 cases, 93 deaths.
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