With the addition of five more deaths Thursday, more than 100 people have now died in Dallas County after contracting COVID-19, this according to county health officials who also say another 179 people have been infected with the deadly virus.
Dallas County Health and Human Services reported Thursday 3,531 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 104 COVID-19 related deaths.
"Today is our highest number of daily reported COVID-19 positive cases thus far. DCHHS epidemiologists tell us that the increase stems from a change in CDC guidelines allowing our front line workers like grocery store and big box store employees to be tested without symptoms at our drive-through locations," said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins an a prepared statement. "We also lost another five residents yesterday to COVID-19."
Of the five most recent deaths, two were people who had been hospitalized, including a man in his 20s from Balch Springs and a man in his 60s from Dallas, while the three others were residents of long-term care facilities in Dallas who ranged in age from their 70s to 90s.
"All of the above information points to the importance of limiting unnecessary shopping trips and avoiding crowds in this worsening situation. With the governor's order set to open still more businesses tomorrow, your smart decisions to protect you, your family and the community are more important than ever," Jenkins said. "It's beautiful weather and we've been cooped up for over a month, but the underlying advice based on science from the health experts has not changed. Stay Home, Save Lives is he best way to flatten the curve."
Of the 104 reported deaths, about 40% have been associated with long-term care facilities, according to DCHHS.
Of the cases requiring hospitalization who reported for employment, the county said 79% of them have been critical infrastructure workers coming from a broad range of occupational sectors including healthcare, transportation, food and agriculture, public works, finance, communications, clergy, first responders and other essential job functions. Most cases involving hospitalization involve patients over the age of 60 with a high-risk condition.
Thursday's all-time high in new cases comes just two days after the county previously reported a new single-day high in new cases along with 10 deaths.
Tracking COVID-19 Cases in North Texas Counties
NBC 5 is tracking the number of COVID-19 related cases, recoveries and deaths in North Texas counties. Choose a county and click on a city or town to see how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting your area.
Cases are cumulative by day and are subject to change, dependent on each county health department's reporting schedule and methodology. Data may be reported county-wide, by city or town, or not at all. Cases, recoveries and death counts in 'unspecified' categories are used as placeholders and reassigned by their respective counties at a later date.
Data: County Health Departments, NBC 5 Staff