The Dallas County Health Department is reporting 1,517 new COVID-19 cases Monday along with two more deaths.
The sudden increase in cases is due to a "large network of outpatient clinics" that began "comprehensive electronic reporting of their antigen testing results to DCHHS." Dallas County Health said of the 1,040 probable cases reported Monday, 80% are from those clinics and were taken between Oct. 13 and Oct. 29.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said the number of cases reported Monday is a record, but cautioned that the number can be attributed to a data dump from clinics that ramped up antigen testing in October and is not the result of a backlog in reporting.
"With the numbers we are seeing, it is increasingly important that we wear a mask and avoid crowds. You know what to do, we just need to all do it," Jenkins said.
The county reported 477 confirmed cases Monday, including 375 that came through the Texas Department of State Health Services' electronic reporting system. One of those cases is from March and the rest were from October.
The latest victims include a man in his 40s from Grand Prairie and a man in his 50s from Dallas. Both of the victims had been critically ill in area hospitals and both had underlying high-risk health conditions.
The county has now accumulated 97,875 confirmed cases of the virus since testing began in March. The county said there have been 1,119 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.
COVID-19 TRACKING AND TESTING
Is Voting on Election Day Dangerous?
"Tomorrow is Election Day and voting will be safe," Jenkins said. "We have not had any cases of transmission at any of our polling locations in either the primary, the runoff, or this election. Over 800,000 Dallas County voters have voted safely and those that want to vote on Election Day should have high confidence that they should be able to vote safely."
Jenkins said during early voting that the county 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.