The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 reached a record high Saturday in Dallas County for the third time this week as health officials reported 1,723 new cases of the coronavirus and eight more deaths.
The eight fatalities reported Saturday included a Dallas man in his 50s who was found dead in his home, a Garland man in his 50s who was found dead in his home, a Dallas man in his 70s, a Grand Prairie man in his 70s, an Irving man in his 70s who died in hospice care, a Dallas man in his 80s who died in hospice care, a Dallas woman in her 80s who died in hospice care and a Cedar Hill man in his 90s. Seven of the eight patients had underlying conditions, according to Dallas County Health and Human Services.
Stephen Love with the DFW Hospital Council told NBC 5 Friday that in Trauma Service Area E there were 2,946 COVID-19 patients in area hospitals, up 87 from the day before. While the number can fluctuate, Love said Friday afternoon there were 11 available ICU beds in Dallas County, six in Collin County, 20 in Tarrant County and five in Denton County.
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"Unlike in the spring and summer surges, the ability to draw on regional capacity and additional staff is limited at this time," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement. "A post-holiday surge on top of the current increases could be devastating to our already heavily burdened health care providers. This is not the position we wanted to be in heading into the winter holidays."
Of the cases reported Saturday, the county said 1,376 were confirmed cases and 347 were probable (antigen test) cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the county from March to 153,823 and the number of probable (antigen test) cases to 17,760. The total of confirmed and probable cases in the county is now at 153,823.
County officials said Saturday there have been 1,431 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.
The county said that the provisional 7-day average for new confirmed and probable cases by date of a test collection for CDC week 50 was 1,668, which represents a rate of 62.9 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 6,050 COVID-19 cases in school-aged children and staff reported from more than 780 separate K-12 schools in Dallas County, including 686 staff members.
There are currently 99 active long-term care facility outbreaks. Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 2,696 COVID-19 cases have been reported from these facilities, including 1,550 staff members. Of these cases, 631 have been hospitalized, and 318 have died. Thirty-nine 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 163 cases, including six hospitalizations. One facility has reported 89 COVID-19 outbreak cases since October.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.