For the third straight day, health officials in Dallas County reported more than 285 new cases of the coronavirus, plus two additional COVID-19-related deaths.
One of the victims was a man in his 50s from Farmers Branch with underlying health conditions who had been critically ill at a hospital, according to Dallas County Health and Human Services. The other was a Dallas woman in her 80s who was a resident of a long-term care facility and had underlying health conditions.
The two fatalities raise Dallas County's coronavirus-related death toll to 262.
The 289 additional cases reported Saturday bring the county total to 11,830.
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The county reported fewer than 200 COVID-19 cases for five straight days from May 23-27, but has seen case numbers climb in the days since, with a high of 298 on Friday.
Dallas County does not report recoveries from COVID-19 because it lacks the manpower to follow up with thousands of patients, however, the Texas Department of State Health Services posts an estimated number of recoveries on its site and lists 78,164 for Dallas County as of Saturday, Oct. 10. Using data supplied by the state, there are an estimated 6,120 active COVID-19 cases in the county.
"I cannot stress to you how important it is that you maintain social distancing when in crowds, and this includes outdoor crowds, even when wearing a face covering," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a written statement. "If you have participated in protests or other large gatherings, please get tested."
Saturday's numbers raised the average number of daily cases for the week to 261, the highest daily average of the pandemic, Jenkins said. It was also the county's second most deadly week, with 34 fatalities linked to COVID-19.
The rate of hospitalizations, ICU admissions and emergency room visits, metrics health experts use for COVID-19 risk factors, remained flat, Jenkins said.
Of cases requiring hospitalization among people who reported employment, more than 80% work in fields considered critical infrastructure.
Tracking COVID-19 Cases in North Texas Counties
NBC 5 is tracking the number of COVID-19 related cases, recoveries and deaths in North Texas counties. Choose a county and click on a city or town to see how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting your area.
Cases are cumulative by day and are subject to change, dependent on each county health department's reporting schedule and methodology. Data may be reported county-wide, by city or town, or not at all. Cases, recoveries and death counts in 'unspecified' categories are used as placeholders and reassigned by their respective counties at a later date.
Data: County Health Departments, NBC 5 Staff