After warning for two days that lower numbers could be due to a reporting issue from the state health department, Dallas County officials report 1, 804 new COVID-19 cases Thursday along with two more deaths.
"Today marks the second time this week that we've reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases with 1,860 being reported today, more than the 1,831 we reported just a few days ago," said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. "As we enter the holiday season now is not the time to attend gatherings with friends and family who are not members of your household. Instead now is the time to make sacrifices for the greater good of our community."
County officials said the latest victims included a woman in her 40s and a woman in her 80s. According to the county's daily statement, both of the victims had been critically ill in hospital ICUs and had underlying health conditions.
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Over the seven days, Dallas County has added 7,976 new COVID-19 cases, the apparent beginning of a trend that Jenkins warned could bring more than 2,000 cases per day on average before Thanksgiving if steps are not taken to curtail the spread of the virus.
Of the cases reported Thursday, the county said 1,806 were confirmed cases and 54 were probable (antigen test) cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the county from March to 113,764 and the number of probable (antigen test) cases to 10,403.
County officials said Wednesday there have been 1,164 confirmed deaths in the county attributed to the virus and another 22 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.
Overnight Wednesday there were 670 patients with COVID-19 in Dallas County hospitals, according to the county's statement Thursday. Jenkins warned previously that hospitalizations are expected to continue to rise rapidly within both the county and region and that hospitals are concerned about the spread and strain on their staff.
The county added that the provisional 7-day average for new confirmed and probable cases by date of a test collection for CDC week 45 has increased to 1,078, which is a rate of 40.9 daily new cases per 100,000 residents. During the same week, a provisional total of 919 confirmed and probable cases were diagnosed in school children between the ages of 5 and 17 -- a three-fold increase from five weeks earlier.
"While the choice is yours on how you conduct yourself, it is not fair to say that the risk you take is yours and yours alone as the impact of increased exposure for individuals has an impact on others," Jenkins said Monday.