The Dallas County Health Department is reporting two more deaths and 348 additional cases of COVID-19 Wednesday.
Of the 348 cases reported Wednesday, Dallas County Health said 221 came from the Texas DSHS backlog with nine cases coming from July, 11 from August and 201 from earlier this month.
The two new deaths reported by the county include:
- A man in his 50s who was a resident of Dallas. He had been critically ill in an area hospital and had underlying high-risk health conditions.
- A man in his 70s who was a resident of Dallas. He had been critically ill in an area hospital and had underlying high-risk health conditions.
Dallas County health officials said Wednesday that the provisional 7-day daily average for confirmed and probable cases dropped in CDC week 37 from 294 to 257. The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 remains high with 10.0% of symptomatic patients presenting to area hospitals testing positive in week 37.
"Our hospitalization numbers have stopped their decrease and have been largely flat over the last few days," said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. "The increases in infection in Tarrant County and the increasing openings of bars under loopholes made possible by Gov. Abbott, along with more schools opening, means that we all need to be on our toes in making smart decisions. Unfortunately, bars have been linked to spread in most states, including Texas, and the local Public Health Committee is strongly discouraging frequenting bars at this time.
Last week Jenkins said that although Abbott is allowing for restaurants and other businesses to allow more patrons inside, he is urging the community not to look at what is permissible, but rather what is safe. This week he continued to urge people to choose outdoor dining rather than indoor and to continue to follow masking and spacing protocols when shopping inside area businesses.
"Whether we stay flat, begin to erode our gains and go back up, or work our way into trending down again is largely up to the decisions of the community. If we continue to wear a mask one hundred percent of the time when outside the home and maintain six-foot distancing while avoiding unnecessary trips and any indoor activity where a mask cannot be worn one hundred percent of the time, then I believe we can get back to seeing improvement," Jenkins said Wednesday.
The county has now accumulated 78,723 cases of the virus since testing began in March. With 71,455 estimated recoveries being reported by the state through Wednesday, there are roughly 6,266 active cases in Dallas County. There have been 1,002 confirmed deaths attributed in the county to the virus, which, according to Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang, is now the third leading cause of death in the county behind diseases of the heart and cancers. Since March 20, the date of the first reported COVID-19 related death in Dallas County, the county has averaged 5.3 deaths per day.
COVID-19 TRACKING AND TESTING
Last week the judge also noted a provisional total of 156 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in school-aged children (ages 5-17) during CDC Week 37, an increase from the previous week for this age group. Jenkins said Friday the percentage of cases occurring in young adults aged 18-22 increased to 14% over the last two weeks.