COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to shatter records in Dallas County
Updated at 7:45 pm: Revised to include information on hospital capacity in the region.
Dallas County reported 1,129 more coronavirus cases on Tuesday, all of which were considered new. 16 new COVID-19 deaths were also announced.
Meanwhile, the state reported that 11,775 Texans were hospitalized with the virus on Tuesday.
The recent Dallas County victims included nine Dallas residents: a man in their thirties, two men in their forties, one man in their sixties, two men and one woman in their seventies, and one man and one woman in their eighties. All had been hospitalized and all but the woman in her eighties had health problems.
A Dallas woman in her fifties died at home with health problems.
Two Garland residents were among the dead: an 18-year-old man and a woman in their sixties, each admitted to hospital critically ill. The man had underlying chronic illnesses; The woman didn’t.
The remaining victims were a Mesquite woman in her fifties, a Carrollton man in her sixties, a Richardson man in her seventies, and a Hutchins man in his seventies. All of them were seriously ill and had health problems in the hospital.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said hospital stays for COVID-19 are at record highs while ICU bed availability is at record lows in the county.
“Currently 1 in 4 people hospitalized in Dallas County have COVID and approximately 30% of people hospitalized in the area have COVID,” Jenkins said in a written statement. “With UT Southwestern predicting that our COVID hospital admissions will skyrocket by January 5th, it is imperative that we all make the small, wise sacrifices to keep ourselves and our community healthy at this time of high prevalence as possible to keep. ”
Of the new cases reported Tuesday, 882 are confirmed and 247 are likely. The newly reported cases bring the county’s total confirmed cases to 168,782 and the probable cases to 20,470. The county has recorded 1,596 COVID-19 deaths.
The county has stated that only positive antigen tests (sometimes called rapid tests) are counted as likely cases. Some antibody and household results were previously considered.
While other counties in north Texas are providing estimates of how many people have recovered from the virus, Dallas County officials do not report recoveries because the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not use this metric.
Health officials are using hospital stays, intensive care units and emergency rooms as key metrics to track the effects of COVID-19 in the county in real time. In the 24-hour period that ended Monday, 1,018 COVID-19 patients were receiving acute care in hospitals in the district – a record. During the same period, 557 ER visits were made for symptoms of the disease.
As of Tuesday, only 31 adult intensive care beds were available in Dallas and Tarrant counties, according to the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council. In Dallas alone, over 300 beds were available at the beginning of the pandemic.
In a tweet, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said that 71% of beds – or 4,170 out of 5,911 – in the city’s 25 hospitals will be occupied as of Tuesday. He also said 46% of the city’s fans – or about 479 out of 1,035 – are on.
Here are the bed and ventilation capacity statistics reported by 25 hospitals in @CityOfDallas:
Total beds: 5911
Beds occupied: 4170 (71%)
Total number of beds in the intensive care unit: 936
Intensive care beds occupied: 738 (79%)
Total fans: 1035
Fans used: 479 (46%)
– Mayor Eric Johnson (@ Johnson4Dallas) December 29, 2020
On Monday, Jenkins warned that if UT Southwestern’s prognosis for hospital stays – up to 1,500 by Jan. 5 – proves correct, intensive care beds will be full and some patients will receive “less than optimal” care.
The county reported that 5,971 cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in school-age children and staff at 756 schools in Dallas County in the past 30 days. 21 school nurses have tested positive for COVID-19 since March.
There are 102 active COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities, the highest number since the pandemic began, the county said. Of the county’s total COVID-19 deaths, approximately 22% are attributable to long-term care facilities.
Also on Tuesday, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department announced that Sheriff Marian Brown will receive the COVID-19 vaccine this week.
“I trust the health system that cares for the people in our care,” Brown said in a written statement. “I hope that on my journey after receiving the vaccine, I will encourage someone to take it too.”
Across the state, 31,278 additional cases and 241 COVID-19 deaths were reported on Tuesday. Texas has now reported a total of 1,715,978 cases and 26,762 deaths.
Of the new cases, 26,990 were confirmed – a record – and 4,288 were likely.
A notice on the state dashboard indicated that some of the cases included in Tuesday’s totals were from earlier days, as some counties hadn’t reported COVID-19 data over the holiday weekend.
The state has now reported 1,518,499 confirmed cases and 197,479 probable cases.
The state also added 1,030 older confirmed cases and 244 older probable cases recently reported by laboratories.
There are 11,775 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals – a new high – including 3,619 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
As of Tuesday, 23.64% of the patients in the hospital region that covered the D-FW area were COVID-19 patients.
The nationwide average seven-day positivity rate for molecular tests, based on the date of specimen collection, was 17.154% on Monday. According to state health officials, using data based on when people were tested provides the most accurate rate of positivity.
For antigen tests, the positivity rate for the same period was 11.05%.
Elsewhere in Texas, US Renal Care, which treats people with kidney disease, announced Tuesday that some Texas clinics would be receiving monoclonal antibody therapy to treat COVID-19 patients.
The drug, known as bamlanivimab, is made by Eli Lilly and was obtained through the federal Operation Warp Speed program. Monoclonal antibody drugs use laboratory-made antibodies that mimic antibodies naturally produced in the body.
The FDA granted emergency use of bamlanivimab on November 9th. The drug is used to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 in patients over the age of 12 who are not in the hospital.
Data recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine found the drug may reduce hospital stays in high-risk patients with mild to moderate cases of the virus. According to the CDC, people with chronic kidney disease are at increased risk of serious illness when they receive COVID-19.
“The possibility of administering monoclonal antibody therapy to COVID-19-positive high-risk patients in our clinics, where they are already dialyzed three times a week, can reduce hospital stays and save lives,” said Dr. Mary Dittrich, US Renal Care’s chief medical officer, said in a written statement.
It wasn’t clear which clinics in Texas would receive the drug.
In addition to Texas, clinics in California, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland and New Mexico are also receiving initial deliveries of the drug.
Tarrant County reported 1,278 coronavirus cases and 23 new deaths on Tuesday.
The most recent deaths include seven Fort Worth residents: a woman in their nineties, a woman and two men in their eighties, a man in their seventies, a man in their sixties, and a man in their thirties.
Four Bedford residents were among the victims: a woman in her nineties, two men in her eighties, and one woman in her seventies.
Three Mansfield residents also died: two women in their eighties and one man in their fifties. Two men from Crowley were there too, a man in his 70s and a man in his 50s. Two of the victims were from Hurst, a man in their 90s and a woman in their 70s.
The remaining five victims were a basement man over 100 years old, a grapevine man in his eighties, two men from Benbrook in their seventies, and one Euless woman in her sixties.
The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 145,279, including 127,256 confirmed cases, 18,023 probable cases and 106,644 recoveries. The death toll is 1,448.
According to Tuesday’s count on the county dashboard, 1,323 people are being hospitalized with the virus.
The state added 1,179 coronavirus cases to all Tuesday in Collin County, bringing the number to 47,197. Six new COVID-19 deaths have also been reported, bringing the death toll in the county to 357.
Details of the latest victims were not available.
Of the new cases, 897 were confirmed and 282 were likely. Collin County has 42,393 confirmed cases and 4,804 probable cases.
According to state data, the county has 4,506 active cases of the virus and has recorded 37,887 recoveries.
The county’s coronavirus dashboard only offers full hospital admissions, now at 539.
Denton County reported 835 coronavirus cases – of which 747 are active – and eight new deaths Tuesday.
Recent deaths include a man and woman over 80 who lived at Cedar Crest Senior Living in Lewisville. Other victims included a Lewisville woman in her eighties, a woman from The Colony in her seventies, a man in her seventies from unincorporated northwest Denton County, a woman in her sixties from unincorporated northeast Denton County, a man in his fifties from unincorporated southeast Denton County and a Carrollton man in his forties.
The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 38,094, including 12,502 active and 25,386 active cases. They also increase the total number of molecular cases to 31,269 while the antigen cases are 6,825.
The death toll stands at 206.
According to the district, 217 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized.
The Texas Department of Health has provided coverage for these other North Texas counties. In some countries, new data may not be reported every day.
The latest numbers are:
- Rockwall County: 6,011 cases (5,005 confirmed and 1,006 likely), 50 deaths.
- Kaufman County: 8,985 cases (7,840 confirmed and 1,145 likely), 115 deaths.
- Ellis County: 12,665 cases (11,164 confirmed and 1,501 likely), 163 deaths.
- Johnson County: 10,665 cases (9,449 confirmed and 1,216 likely), 150 deaths.
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