Health officials in Dallas County are reporting 759 new COVID-19 cases Saturday along with three more deaths.
The latest victims include a Mesquite man in his 60s, a Dallas woman in her 70s and a Dallas man in his 80s, all of whom had been critically ill at area hospitals and had underlying health conditions, according to Dallas County Health and Human Services.
The provisional 7-day average for new confirmed and probable cases for CDC week 43 was 652 per day, the highest daily average since July. Jenkins said the number of known school-aged children with COVID-19 doubled over the last four weeks to 587 cases and he cautioned that if people don't take steps to curb the spread of the virus, medical models indicate the county will once again see new cases numbers over 1,000 per day by Thanksgiving.
According to data from the state health department, hospitalizations in Texas Saturday are nearly 5,700.
Of the 759 cases reported, 622 were confirmed and 137 were probable, according to DCHSS. Officials said 360 of the cases came from the Texas Department of State Health Services electronic laboratory reporting system and all were from October.
The county has now accumulated 96,694 confirmed cases of the virus since testing began in March. The county said there have been 1,116 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.
"UT Southwestern Medical modelers tell us that we are on pace to have our highest number of average daily cases per week by Thanksgiving if we do not immediately go back to doing the things that we know how to do: wear our mask, avoid crowds and practice good social distancing and hygiene. Have a safe and fun Halloween,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a written statement.
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.