The Dallas County Health Department is reporting 832 new COVID-19 cases Friday along with six more deaths.
The latest victims include a woman in her 40s from Dallas, a man in his 50s from Irving, a woman in her 60s from Richardson, a man in his 60s from Dallas, a woman in her 70s from Garland and a woman in her 70s from Cedar Hill. All of the victims had been critically ill in area hospitals and all but one had underlying high-risk health conditions.
"Today is our highest number of new COVID-19 positive cases since Aug. 14 and we have six deaths. This is a stark reminder of the importance of following protocols that we know will keep us safe," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a prepared statement Friday.
"If we do not turn these numbers around, we will be facing all-time high numbers at Thanksgiving," said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
The provisional 7-day average for new confirmed and probable cases for CDC week 42 was 588 per day, the highest daily average since July. Jenkins said the number of known school-aged children with COVID-19 doubled over the last three weeks from 251 cases to 493 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 Friday are more than 5,600.
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Of the 832 cases reported, 670 were confirmed and 162 were probable, according to Dallas County Health and Human Services. DCHHS said 288 of the cases came from the DSHS backlog and all were from this month.
The county has now accumulated 96,072 confirmed cases of the virus since testing began in March. The county said there have been 1,114 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.