A day after adding the fewest number of cases in nearly a month, Dallas County added 1,710 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday along with seven more deaths attributed to the virus.
Of the cases reported Tuesday, the county said 1,516 were confirmed cases and 200 were probable (antigen test) cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the county from March to 120,999 and the number of probable (antigen test) cases to 11,444. Over the last seven days, Dallas County officials have confirmed 11,083 confirmed and probable cases of the virus.
The seven latest victims involved patients from their 30s to their 90s, all of whom had been hospitalized and had underlying health conditions.
County officials said Tuesday there have been 1,197 confirmed deaths in the county attributed to the virus and another 28 probable deaths. 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.
Due to the upcoming holiday, Dallas County officials said they would not be reporting new COVID-19 numbers on Thursday or Friday and that Wednesday's numbers will be reported on Saturday and Thursday, Friday and Saturday's numbers will be reported on Sunday.
The county added that the provisional 7-day average for new confirmed and probable cases by date of a test collection for CDC week 46 has increased to 1,321, which is a rate of 50.1 daily new cases per 100,000 residents. During the same week, a provisional total of 1,224 confirmed and probable cases were diagnosed in school children between the ages of 5 and 17 -- a three-fold increase from five weeks earlier.
Judge Jenkins has cautioned for most of the month that the number of new COVID-19 cases could approach 2,000 per day by Thanksgiving if steps to mitigate the spread of the virus aren't taken -- the county has reported 8,766 new cases in the last seven days including a record 2,183 cases on Saturday followed by another 1,862 on Sunday.
"We recognize that this Thanksgiving will be different from Thanksgiving in the past as doctors and I hope you will spend it with the smallest amount of people possible, ideally just the people that you live with," Jenkins said on Twitter Monday.
"Being around 10 people exposes you to a 35% risk that one of those 10 individuals is COVID-19 positive and can infect the group. If that number rises to 20 people in your gathering, then it is near statistical certainty that there will be a COVID-19 positive individual at your gathering. Keep this in mind and avoid visiting crowded indoor venues at this time of high spread. When outdoors, please make sure to maintain your distance on trails and at shared space," the county said in a statement Tuesday.
Jenkins suggests forgoing Black Friday shopping in person, using curbside pickup or contactless options for restaurant, retail and grocery shopping needs.
"COVID will not be with us forever and next Thanksgiving will look like Thanksgiving in the past, but the actions we take now could determine whether we have a full complement of the people that we are thankful for in our upcoming celebrations," Jenkins said. "So please, do all that you can to follow the doctors’ advice and stay safe this holiday season."