The Dallas County Health Department is reporting 498 new COVID-19 cases Monday along with two more deaths.
The latest victims include a man in his 50s from Dallas and a man in his 80s from Cedar Hill. Both men had underlying high-risk health conditions and had been hospitalized in the ICU.
"We continue to see high numbers of COVID-19 cases in Dallas County and in the region. As the weather turns cooler and more people are going inside, we have to keep safe practices in mind including wearing our mask, maintaining six-foot distance and washing our hands frequently," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a prepared statement Friday.
According to data from the state health department, hospitalizations in Texas are up again Monday to nearly 5,300.
Of the 498 cases reported, 391 were confirmed and 107 were probable, according to Dallas County Health and Human Services. DCHHS said 304 of the cases came from the DSHS backlog and all were from this month.
The county has now accumulated 93,939 confirmed cases of the virus since testing began in March. The county said there have been 1,101 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.
COVID-19 TRACKING AND TESTING
Are Trick-or-Treating and Voting Dangerous?
Judge Jenkins advised North Texans to avoid trick-or-treating this year, and other similar events, and called them a possible super-spreader activity.
"As we approach the Halloween holiday with cases increasing, it’s important that families make responsible decisions to do things within the family unit and not come into contact with many people outside their home. Doctors strongly encourage all residents to forgo trick or treating, trunk or treating, and Halloween parties and instead focus on candy hunts, Halloween themed family parties or movie nights, pumpkin carving and other things that can be done with the people that you live with. We must get this under control now or we are in for a rough holiday season and winter when the weather forces more people indoors which increases the chance of COVID-19 spread. We can do this North Texas but it’s up to each and every one of us. You’ve brought the numbers down twice before and you can do it again,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said that voting in person in Dallas County is safe and that the county has spent millions of dollars on disinfectants, plexiglass screens and other precautions to ensure that voters are safe. Voters can also see a live, color-coded map showing the approximate wait times at polling locations in Dallas County so that they can see which polls are least crowded and where voting can be done quickly. See the map here.