Dallas County added another 2,248 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 Friday along with 10 more deaths attributed to the virus. Meanwhile, county officials say there are nearly 870 COVID-19 patients in county hospitals while warning this week of exhausting the health care system.
Dallas County officials said there were 867 COVID-19 patients in acute care in Dallas County through Thursday, 46 more than the day before. On Thursday the county health department cautioned "these numbers continue to exhaust our local hospital systems, along with regional high hospitalizations, and our health care workers are being stretched thin."
"Twice this week we've now seen record highs for hospitalizations, nearly 30 more than our previous high of 838 two days ago. Additionally, we are seeing record highs across the region. Unlike in the spring and summer surges, the ability to draw on regional capacity and additional staff is limited at this time," said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins Friday in a prepared statement "Please help us change course and commit to virtual holiday activities. A post-holiday surge on top of the current increases could be devastating to our already heavily burdened health care providers."
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.
Love added that, of patients in TSA-E ICUs, COVID-19 patients make up 41% of patients.
"This is very serious and with the upcoming holidays, we need everyone to please wear masks and stay out of crowds! We need your help!" Love said.
Of the cases reported Friday, the county said 1,938 were confirmed cases and 310 were probable (antigen test) cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the county from March to 152,447 and the number of probable (antigen test) cases to 17,413. The total of confirmed and probable cases in the county is now at 169,860. Over the last seven days, Dallas County officials have confirmed 13,635 confirmed and probable cases of the virus.
The 10 latest victims include a woman in her 40s from Irving, a man in his 50s from Dallas, a woman in her 60s from Grand Prairie, a man in his 60s from Garland, a woman in her 60s from Mesquite, a woman in her 70s from Grand Prairie, a woman in her 70s from Mesquite, a man in his 80s from Dallas, a woman in her 80s from Richardson and a man in his 90s from Duncanville. All of the patients had been hospitalized and all but one, the 40-year-old woman from Irving, had underlying health conditions.
County officials said Friday there have been 1,423 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 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.