The Dallas County Health Department is reporting another 589 cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus Wednesday along with two more deaths attributed to the virus.
Of the 589 cases reported, 523 were confirmed and 66 were probable, according to Dallas County Health and Human Services. DCHHS said 273 of the cases came from the DSHS backlog and that all but one case, from August, were from earlier this month.
"Today's numbers continue an increase in the number of COVID-19 positive cases that we're seeing in both confirmed (PCR) and probable (antigen) tests," said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. "We are seeing an increase in COVID-19 bed utilization at our hospitals and we are back to the highest numbers that we've seen since August in four of our hospital systems."
The additional two deaths being reported Tuesday include the following:
- A man in his 70s who was a resident of a long-term care facility the City of Dallas. He had been hospitalized and had underlying high-risk health conditions.
- A woman in her 90s who was a resident of the City of Cedar Hill. She had been hospitalized and had underlying high-risk health conditions.
The county has now accumulated 91,313 confirmed cases of the virus since testing began in March. There have been 1,091 confirmed deaths attributed in the county to the virus, which, according to Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang, is now the third leading cause of death in the county behind diseases of the heart and cancers.
County health officials said Friday the 7-day average for CDC Week 41 was 482, an increase from the previous daily average of 385 from Week 40. The county also said that a provisional total of 406 school-aged children were confirmed or probable during that same week, which is more than twice the number of school-aged children diagnosed four weeks earlier.
"It's not a time to lose our resolve. Things will get better. We will get a vaccine but it's imperative that we all wear our masks and avoid large crowds for now, " Jenkins said. "We know what to do, we just need to do it and we need to do it now before we find ourselves in a terrible place for the holidays, winter and the beginning of spring."
COVID-19 TRACKING AND TESTING
Are Trick-or-Treating and Voting Dangerous?
Last week, Jenkins advised North Texans to avoid trick-or-treating this year, and other similar events, and called them a possible super-spreader activity.
"As we approach the Halloween holiday with cases increasing, it’s important that families make responsible decisions to do things within the family unit and not come into contact with many people outside their home. Doctors strongly encourage all residents to forgo trick or treating, trunk or treating, and Halloween parties and instead focus on candy hunts, Halloween themed family parties or movie nights, pumpkin carving and other things that can be done with the people that you live with. We must get this under control now or we are in for a rough holiday season and winter when the weather forces more people indoors which increases the chance of COVID-19 spread. We can do this North Texas but it’s up to each and every one of us. You’ve brought the numbers down twice before and you can do it again,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said earlier this week that voting in person in Dallas County is safe and that the county has spent millions of dollars on disinfectants, plexiglass screens and other precautions to ensure that voters are safe. Voters can also see a live, color-coded map showing the approximate wait times at polling locations in Dallas County so that they can see which polls are least crowded and where voting can be done quickly. See the map here.