Dallas County is reporting nearly another 400 new COVID-19 cases along with five more deaths and an increase in hospitalizations Thursday, according to county officials. The county has now eclipsed 15,600 cases of the virus with 307 deaths since testing began in March.
The five latest victims to die after contracting the virus include the following:
- A Grand Prairie woman in her 50s who had been hospitalized and had underlying high-risk health conditions.
- A Dallas man in his 60s who had been critically ill in an area hospital and had underlying high-risk health conditions.
- A Carrollton man in his 80s who had been critically ill in an area hospital and had underlying high-risk health conditions.
- A Dallas man in his 90s who had been critically ill in an area hospital, and had underlying high-risk health conditions.
- A Mesquite man in his 90’s who died at the long-term care facility where he lived. He did not have underlying high-risk health conditions.
The 392 new cases reported Thursday is the second-highest number of new COVID-19 cases ever reported, second only to yesterday's 413 cases.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said that hospitalizations were also up overnight.
“Today we’re seeing our highest hospitalizations for COVID-19 ever reported in Dallas County at 423 and the number of hospitalizations across the Metroplex area has shot up more than 200 to now being 923," said Jenkins. "This number is the one to watch most closely as this represents the tip of the iceberg that you can see and gives an indication to the amount of COVID-19 cases spreading in the community that you are yet to see. "
Last week, the county was reporting the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 was hovering around 300 patients. In Tarrant County Thursday, they reported 283 people hospitalized with COVID-19 along with the addition of 277 new cases and six deaths.
Jenkins said Thursday that he planned to ask the Dallas County Commissioners Court to consider an order requiring people to wear masks while patronizing businesses. It's not clear if there would be a fine associated with violations of that order, should it be enacted.
There are now 15,648 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Dallas County with 307 deaths. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, an estimated 9,754 people (through Thursday) in the county have recovered from the virus leaving an estimated 5,587 known patients fighting the infection.
Additionally, the percentage of emergency room visits for COVID-19 like symptoms in Dallas County for a 24-hour period ending Wednesday, June 17 remained high at 586 visits, representing 27% of all visits according to information reported to the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council.
DCHHS said local health experts use hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and ER visits as three of the key indicators in determining the COVID-19 Risk Level (color-coded risk seen below) and corresponding guidelines for activities during our COVID-19 response.
"Please avoid crowds, maintain six-foot distancing when out, wear a cloth face covering, and use strong hygiene. It’s up to all of us to flatten the curve. There are many other important matters in your life and in the world right now, but we must keep our health and the health of our community at the top of our minds as we address those other important matters. The best way to keep you and your family safe is 'Stay Home, Save Lives,'" said Jenkins.
To date, of cases requiring hospitalization who reported employment, over 80% have been critical infrastructure workers, with a broad range of affected occupational sectors, including healthcare, transportation, food and agriculture, public works, finance, communications, clergy, first responders and other essential functions.
Of cases requiring hospitalization, two-thirds have been under 65 years of age, and about half do not have high-risk chronic health conditions. Diabetes has been an underlying high-risk health condition reported in about a third of all hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
The county has been reporting for several weeks now that more than a third of the deaths related to COVID-19 have been among residents of long-term care facilities.