Health officials in Dallas County on Tuesday reported 20 more COVID-19-related deaths, matching the most fatalities the county has recorded in a single day since the start of the pandemic and bringing the countywide toll to 477.
Dallas County Health and Human Services also reported 20 coronavirus-related deaths on June 30. Of the deaths, 16 were reported in Dallas, two in Duncanville and one each in Cedar Hill and Grand Prairie.
"We, unfortunately, are reporting the deaths of 20 more of our county residents today, and with another day of 1,000 cases, we continue to see significant spread in Dallas County," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement. "Our hospitals and health care heroes are feeling the strain as COVID-19 hospitalizations remain high."
The 1,000 new cases of the coronavirus reported by DCHHS raised the countywide total to 35,914. Tuesday marked the 12th straight day Dallas County has seen at least 1,000 cases.
The 7-day average for new cases is now 1,112 cases per day, up from an average of 306 per day on June 14. Tuesday was the first day the 7-day average decreased by more than one case per day since June 24.
In the last week, Dallas County has added 7,783 new cases of the virus.
Dallas County does not report recoveries from COVID-19 because it lacks the manpower to follow up with thousands of patients, however, the Texas Department of State Health Services posts an estimated number of recoveries on its site and lists 78,164 for Dallas County as of Saturday, Oct. 10. Using data supplied by the state, there are an estimated 6,120 active COVID-19 cases in the county.
The increase in cases comes as the state's positivity rate, the percentage of people testing positive for the virus, has been sustained well over 10% for nearly three weeks and climbed to a new high above 16% on Saturday. An increase in the positivity rate indicates an increase in the spread of the virus, not an increase in testing for the virus.
County officials said half of the new cases reported since June 1 have been young adults between the ages of 18 and 39.
To date, of cases requiring hospitalization who reported employment, more than 80% have been critical infrastructure workers, with a broad range of affected occupational sectors, including healthcare, transportation, food and agriculture, public works, finance, communications, clergy, first responders and other essential functions.
Of cases requiring hospitalization, two-thirds have been under 65 years of age, and about half do not have high-risk chronic health conditions. Diabetes has been an underlying high-risk health condition reported in about a third of all hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
The county has been reporting for several weeks now that more than a third of the deaths related to COVID-19 have been among residents of long-term care facilities.