Dallas County added another 1,382 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 Thursday along with 10 more deaths attributed to the virus. Meanwhile, county officials say there are more than 800 COVID-19 patients in county hospitals while warning of exhausting the system.
Of the cases reported Thursday, the county said 976 were confirmed cases and 406 were probable (antigen test) cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the county from March to 150,509 and the number of probable (antigen test) cases to 17,103. The total of confirmed and probable cases in the county is now at 167,612. Over the last seven days, Dallas County officials have confirmed 13,236 confirmed and probable cases of the virus.
The 10 latest victims involved two women in their 60s from Dallas, one of whom was a resident of a long-term care facility and died in hospice, a woman in her 70s from DeSoto, a man in his 70s from Dallas, a man in his 70s from a long-term care facility in Mesquite, a woman in her 70s from Balch Springs, three men in his 80s from Dallas, one of whom lived at a long-term care facility, and a man in his 90s who lived at a long-term care facility in Dallas.
County officials said Thursday there have been 1,413 deaths in the county attributed to the virus. In the summer, Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang said COVID-19 is the third leading cause of death in the county behind diseases of the heart and cancers.
Dallas County officials said there were 821 COVID-19 patients in acute care in Dallas County through Wednesday and that "these numbers continue to exhaust our local hospital systems, along with regional high hospitalizations, and our health care workers are being stretched thin."
Stephen Love, president of the DFW Hospital Council, told NBC 5 Thursday there were 2,859 lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospitals in the 19-county TSA-E area. Love said COVID-19 patients make up 18.2% of the inpatient bed capacity and approximately 40% of the ICU capacity. Love said there are about 16 free ICU beds in Dallas County and 34 in Tarrant County.
"We continue to experience daily increases in our COVID-19 census in our hospitals and urge people to please wear masks, physical distance, stay out of large crowds and wash your hands frequently. While we are thankful for the vaccines, we have a long way to go to vaccinate the entire population and we can’t let our guard down," Love said. "The next six months are so important as all of us need to make sacrifices, especially over the upcoming holidays, so let’s do our part to tamp down this infection. We must limit our holiday activities to minimize the spread of COVID-19.“
The county said that the provisional 7-day average for new confirmed and probable cases by date of a test collection for CDC week 49 was 1,647, which represents a rate of 62.5 daily new cases per 100,000 residents and is the highest case rate in the county since the pandemic began.
In the last 30 days, there have been 4,520 COVID-19 cases in school-aged children and staff reported from more than 735 separate K-12 schools in Dallas County, including 681 staff members.
There are currently 93 active long-term care facility outbreaks. Over the past 30 days, a total of 848 COVID-19 cases have been reported from these facilities, including 317 staff members. Of these cases, 32 have been hospitalized, and 33 have died, including 2 deaths of staff members. Twenty-six outbreaks of COVID-19 in congregate-living facilities (e.g. homeless shelters, group homes, and halfway homes) have been reported in the past 30 days associated with 165 cases, including six hospitalizations. One facility has reported 89 COVID-19 outbreak cases since October.
Editor's Note: This story's headline originally said today's number of new cases was a record. The record was set the day before. We regret the error.