Compared to a year ago, it's night and day when it comes to the number of COVID-19 cases in Dallas County.
On June 29, 2020, the 7-day average for new COVID-19 cases in Dallas County was about 491 cases per day. Now, it's about three a day per 100,000 people.
"Again, these vaccines really work, so when you get to a higher level of vaccinations, you're going to get slower transmissions," Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang said.
Every day the county releases new data about the number of coronavirus cases and deaths related to COVID-19. A news release on Tuesday said the last 7-day average of new confirmed and probable cases was around 78, which equates to about three daily cases per 100,000 people.
But even with the lower numbers, the county pointed to cities that have seen a higher percentage rate of new cases.
"Over the past two weeks, rates of new COVID-19 diagnoses in the cities of Addison, Lancaster, Sachse and Seagoville have been about 50% higher than county-wide case rates," DCHHS said in a statement. "Rates of new COVID-19 diagnoses in the city of Cedar Hill, Garland and Rowlett have been about 30% higher than county-wide case rates."
But it's important to keep in mind that with the lower numbers, the percentages could seem larger.
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Jason Chessher, the managing director of health for the city of Garland said they keep track of new COVID-19 cases, not only for their city but for Sachse and Rowlett.
"When we're talking about case counts that are as low as they are currently, it's often beneficial to look beyond the percentages at the actual numbers to really give you a good idea of where we stand," Chessher said.
He said this time last June, they were averaging about 52 new cases per day, right now it's about four per 100,000 people.
The city of Garland said it's going to churches, businesses, civic groups and others who are interested in getting vaccinated to make sure vaccines are readily available.
"We as a region, as a state, as a country and a nation have had a lot of success getting folks vaccinated, but there's still a large portion that is partially vaccinated or not vaccinated at all," Chessner said. "We want to encourage those folks to make informed decisions, to look at the facts, to look at the information that Garland, Dallas County, the state and the CDC have on COVID vaccines and make an informed decision."
The Garland Health Department is approaching 35,000 vaccines administered and about 15,000 people who are fully vaccinated. The city has just under 250,000 people.
Dallas County reported that 57% of residents over the age of 12 have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
As to why some cities may have a slightly higher percentage of new COVID-19 cases compared to others, it comes down to accessibility and vaccine hesitancy.
"Some of that represents more different demographic groups that are getting vaccinated versus not getting vaccinated," Huang said.
He said they are still doing pop-up clinics for communities and places where it may be harder to get to.