Dallas County at ‘very dangerous point,’ Jenkins says in announcement of 1,304 new coronavirus cases
UPDATED at 7:40 p.m. with state data on COVID-19 deaths.
Dallas County reported 1,304 additional coronavirus cases on Wednesday, all of which have been classified as new. Three new COVID-19 deaths have also been reported.
It was the third day in a row – and the fourth in the last six – that the county reported more than 1,200 cases.
“We are at a very dangerous point in the fight against COVID,” District Judge Clay Jenkins said in a written statement. “We’re staring at the barrel of the biggest spike we’ve seen so far in COVID cases.”
The laboratories report coronavirus cases either directly to the county health department or to the state health department, which then forwards the information to each district.
The last victims all lived in Dallas. This includes a man in his seventies and a woman in their eighties who had health problems and a man in their sixties who didn’t.
Of the new cases reported on Wednesday, 926 are confirmed and 378 are likely. The newly reported cases bring the county’s total confirmed cases to 105,377 and the probable cases to 8,931. The county has recorded 1,138 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 19 probable deaths.
The county recently announced that it is only counting positive antigen tests (sometimes called rapid tests) 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 Tuesday, 579 COVID-19 patients were in acute care in hospitals in the district – up from 479 the previous day. During the same period, 574 ER visits for symptoms of illness were made – out of 431.
Jenkins said Tuesday was the “second biggest jump in hospitalizations” district officials had seen throughout the pandemic.
Whenever possible, he urged local companies to switch quickly to teleworking for employees.
If the county could telework 65% teleworking, the area’s R0 number could drop to 1 and “stop this incredible surge in COVID cases”. Pronounced “R nothing”, R0 estimates how many people on average a carrier of an infectious disease will infect. If the number is above one, the epidemic grows; below one it is decreasing.
The preliminary 7-day average of daily new confirmed and probable cases in Dallas County for the most recent reporting period Oct 25-31 was 779. The number is calculated according to the county as of the date of the COVID-19 test collection.
The county reported that 608 school-age children tested positive in the same reporting period – an “almost two-fold increase” from reports four weeks ago, the district officials said.
Dallas County does not offer a positivity rate for all COVID-19 tests performed in the area. County health officials have said they don’t count exactly how many tests are done per day. As of the county’s most recent reporting period, 14.8% of people who showed up in hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms were positive for the virus. This is a decrease from the previous reporting period when 15.4% of these patients tested positive.
Across the state, 10,097 more coronavirus cases and 141 more COVID-19 deaths were reported on Wednesday.
Although the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine’s Coronavirus Research Center and some media outlets have stated that Texas has exceeded 1 million COVID-19 cases, the state’s number stands at 985,380. Delays and differences in reporting have created inconsistencies in the number of cases across the country.
The state’s death toll now stands at 19,004.
There are 6,779 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals – an increase from 609 nationwide in the last 24 hours – including 1,929 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The nationwide mean seven-day positivity rate based on the date the sample was taken was 12.1% on Tuesday. According to state health officials, using data based on when people were tested provides the most accurate rate of positivity.
The state also provides a positivity rate based on when laboratory results were reported to the state; This rate was 12.6% on Tuesday.
Officials previously calculated the Texas coronavirus positivity rate by dividing the last seven days of new positive test results by the last seven days of total new test results. With this measure, the positivity rate is now 8.8% according to the government dashboard.
A Texas Department of Health spokesman said positivity rate data based on laboratory results and new cases are likely to be phased out but will continue to be provided for transparency and continuity.
Tarrant County reported 752 coronavirus cases and nine new deaths on Wednesday.
It is the highest single-day death toll in the county in nearly two months. District officials reported 13 COVID-19 deaths on September 19 – although seven of those deaths occurred in the past few months.
The recent victims all had underlying health problems. That includes six Fort Worth residents – a man and a woman in their sixties, two men and a woman in their seventies, and a woman in their eighties.
The other victims were a White Settlement man in her fifties, an Arlington woman in her seventies, and a Bedford woman in her seventies.
The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 76,838, including 68,726 confirmed cases, 8,112 probable cases, and 59,023 recoveries. The death toll stands at 777.
673 people are being hospitalized with the virus, according to Wednesday’s numbers on the county’s dashboard.
The state added 428 coronavirus cases to the entire Wednesday in Collin County, bringing the number to 20,888. Four new COVID-19 deaths have also been reported, bringing the death toll in the county to 205.
According to state data, the county has 1,873 active cases of the virus and has recorded 19,015 recoveries.
By Tuesday afternoon, Collin County’s coronavirus dashboard had been scaled down significantly. After the county turned case management over to DSHS in June, it noted residents on his dashboard that he had little confidence in the numbers provided by the state.
The site now only offers total hospital stays (currently 275). It also includes a link to the status dashboard.
Denton County reported 294 coronavirus cases – one of the highest single-day totals from the pandemic in the county – and no new deaths as of Wednesday. 176 of the newly reported cases are active.
Only once during the pandemic did the county add more cases in a single day. On October 6, district officials began reporting antigen test results. Of the 1,240 new cases reported that day, 493 were considered active.
The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 18,892, including 3,556 active and 15,194 recovered cases. The death toll is 142.
The newly reported cases brought the county’s total molecular cases to 16,350, while the antigen cases stand at 2,542.
For the second day in a row, the county set a daily record for hospital stays and reported 117 COVID-19 patients in the hospital – an increase of 12 from the previous day.
In the past week, COVID-19 patients occupied 11.1% of the county’s total inpatient beds – also an all-time high.
The district still has 12 beds in the intensive care unit for adults. According to the district, there are still 228 additional inpatient beds available. A county spokeswoman said these beds could be used to care for COVID patients if needed.
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: 2,232 cases, 34 deaths
- Kaufman County: 3,904 cases, 69 deaths
- Ellis County: 5,530 cases, 95 deaths
- Johnson County: 4,185 cases, 72 deaths