Dallas County reports 2,248 new coronavirus cases, 10 deaths as hospitalizations reach record high
Updated at 6:50 p.m .: Revised to include nationwide data.
Dallas County reported 2,248 more coronavirus cases as well as a record number of hospital admissions for the virus on Friday. Ten new COVID-19 deaths have also been reported.
The latest victims were two Dallas men in their fifties and eighties; two Grand Prairie women in their 60s and 70s; two mesquite women in their 60s and 70s; a Duncanville man in his 90s; a Garland man in his 60s; an Irving woman in her forties; and a Richardson woman in her 80s. All but the Irving woman had high-risk health problems, officials said.
Given the surge in new cases and soaring hospital admissions, District Judge Clay Jenkins said at a news conference Friday that North Texans must follow doctors’ advice and restrict large gatherings, shop online as much as possible, and avoid dining in restaurants.
“We don’t want COVID to be an uninvited guest this vacation,” he said.
Jenkins and Dr. Philip Huang, the county’s health director, said that while the news about the COVID-19 vaccines is exciting, it is not a moment to facilitate physical distancing or the wearing of masks.
“Our health system is overloaded. Our healthcare heroes are tired and stressed, ”said Jenkins. “A post-vacation increase on top of our current gains would be devastating.”
Of the new cases reported on Friday, 1,938 are confirmed and 310 are likely. The total of 2,248 is the second most common report in a single day without a large number of cases left behind.
The newly reported cases bring the total confirmed cases in Dallas County to 152,447 and the probable cases to 17,413. The county has recorded 1,423 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 Thursday, 867 COVID-19 patients were in acute care in the county hospitals – most at any point during the pandemic. During the same period, 482 ER visits were made for symptoms of the disease.
At Friday’s news conference, Jenkins highlighted the UT Southwestern Medical Center’s latest forecast that Dallas County’s COVID-19 hospital stays could peak more than 1,000 by December 29. The same model shows that Tarrant County hospital stays could exceed 1,600 by that date.
Across the state, an additional 15,619 cases and 294 COVID-19 deaths were reported on Friday. Texas has now reported a total of 1,555,981 cases and 24,954 deaths.
Of the new cases, 12,192 were confirmed and 3,427 were likely. The state has reported 1,384,476 confirmed cases and 171,505 probable cases.
The state also added 1,061 older confirmed cases and 112 older probable cases recently reported by laboratories.
There are 9,709 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals, including 2,875 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The number of COVID-19 patients in North Texas as a percentage of hospital capacity is 17.5%, above Governor Greg Abbott’s 15% threshold, triggering tougher measures for restaurants and other businesses.
The nationwide average seven-day positivity rate for molecular tests, based on the date the sample was taken, was 14.4% on Thursday. 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 9.8%.
Tarrant County reported 2,016 coronavirus cases and 16 new deaths on Friday.
The latest victims were three Arlington residents, one woman in their sixties and two men in their seventies; two residents of Benbrook, a woman in their sixties and a man in their eighties; two Euless men in their 70s and 80s; two Fort Worth men in their 60s and 80s; a Bedford woman in her 80s; a Blue Mound woman in her 60s; a Crowley who lives in his 70s; a Hurst man in his 60s; a cellar woman in her 80s; a sansom park man in his 80s; and a Westworth Village man in his 80s.
Health officials said all but three of the victims had underlying health conditions, but did not state which three these were.
The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 128,261, including 112,372 confirmed cases, 15,889 probable cases, and 93,363 recoveries. The death toll stands at 1,071.
1,033 people will be hospitalized with the virus, according to Friday’s numbers on the county dashboard.
The state added a total of 899 coronavirus cases for all of Friday in Collin County, bringing the total to 39,127. Of the new cases, 661 were confirmed and 238 were likely.
The Department of State Health Services began reporting likely cases on December 11. Collin County has 35,482 confirmed cases and 3,645 probable cases.
11 new COVID-19 deaths were also reported on Friday, bringing the county’s death toll to 322. No details on the latest victims were available.
According to state data, the county has 3,949 active cases of the virus and 31,533 recoveries.
The county’s coronavirus dashboard only offers full hospital admissions, now at 389.
Denton County reported 702 coronavirus cases – 596 of which are active – and three new deaths on Friday.
The most recent victims were two Denton residents, a man and a woman in their seventies and a woman in their sixties, who lived at the Longmeadow Healthcare Center in Justin.
The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 33,822, including 10,746 active and 22,893 recovered cases. The death toll stands at 183.
The newly reported cases also bring the county’s total molecular cases to 28,256, while the antigen cases stand at 5,566.
According to the district, 162 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized. Only five of the district’s intensive care beds are available.
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: 5,181 cases (4,286 confirmed and 895 likely), 46 deaths.
- Kaufman County: 7,731 cases (6,740 confirmed and 991 probable), 106 deaths.
- Ellis County: 10,876 cases (9,653 confirmed and 1,223 likely), 143 deaths.
- Johnson County: 9,031 cases (8,028 confirmed and 1,003 likely), 136 deaths.
Staff writer Nic Garcia contributed to this report.
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