coronavirus

Dallas County Reports 10th Death, Cluster of COVID-19 Cases at Long-Term Care Facilities

Dallas County has reported a total of 10 deaths and 488 cases of COVID-19

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Dallas County officials on Sunday reported a 10th death from the new coronavirus and 49 new cases, bringing the total to 488.

The death was reported as a woman in her 80s who had been a resident of a long-term care facility, according to the office of Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

The woman, whose identity has not been released, had been hospitalized and had other high-risk chronic health conditions.

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Jenkins said the woman had been a resident at the Edgemere retirement community near West Northwest Highway. She was one of four positive cases — three residents and one employee — reported at Edgemere.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Sunday there were “clusters” of positive coronavirus tests at senior living centers in the area and also addressed social distancing guidelines at public parks and trails.

At the Skyline Nursing Center on Burgoyne Street, near South Westmoreland Road, four other positive cases were confirmed with two additional pending cases, Jenkins said.

All four residents at Skyline with confirmed cases have been hospitalized, Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Phil Huang said.

Another positive case was reported at the Monticello West community on McKinney Avenue near U.S. Highway 75, which is not thought to be a cluster case. That person has been hospitalized for several days.

Jenkins said during the news conference that another nursing home case had just been reported. He did not release the name of the facility because families had not all been notified.

Jenkins said he has instructed all nursing homes with a positive case to inform families and responsible parties immediately by phone and email.

"Additionally, all mentally competent residents are to be informed immediately after they wake. This includes all buildings on a campus with a positive case," he said in a written statement. "They are required to show complete compliance of these notifications within six daylight hours of a positive test."

Staff working at a long-term care facility where a positive case has been confirmed will no longer be able to work in another facility. Healthcare workers must also wear masks and have on-site temperature checks, he said.

"We're not going to have a situation where somebody turns up positive and they've gone to six homes," Jenkins said.

He said that families should consider having the conversation about whether to bring their relatives who are living in these facilities to live with them.

Of the cases that have required hospitalization in Dallas County to date, about 65% have been people either older than 60 or with at least one known high-risk chronicle health condition.

Hospitalizations have been increasing, with 36% of all hospitalized patients requiring admission to intensive care units, according to officials.

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