Officials in Dallas County Saturday reported 561 new cases of COVID-19 -- the county's highest single-day total since the start of the pandemic -- and seven more coronavirus-related deaths.
The number of new cases is 65 more than Dallas County's previous high of 496, reported Friday, and is the highest single-day case count reported by any North Texas county. Tarrant County reported 517 cases Thursday.
The additional Dallas County cases raise the countywide total to 19,595 and the rolling 7-day average to 451 -- up from 358 a week ago.
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The seven deaths reported Saturday included three Dallas residents, two Irving residents, one person from Farmers Branch and another from Seagoville.
Two of the Dallas residents were men in their 50s, one of whom did not have underlying health conditions and one who did. The third Dallas resident was a man in his 70s with no underlying health conditions. All three had been critically ill at area hospitals, according to Dallas County Health and Human Services.
One of the Irving residents was a man in his 40s with underlying health conditions, while the other was a man in his 80s who was a resident of a long-term care facility and had underlying health conditions.
The Farmers Branch resident, a woman in her 70s, had underlying health conditions and the Seagoville resident was a woman in her 90s who lived in a long-term care facility.
The seven coronavirus-related deaths make 38 for the week in Dallas County.
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.
Judge Clay Jenkins said the number of Dallas County residents hospitalized with COVID-19 has doubled since June 1. According to DCHHS, there were 571 people with coronavirus in county hospitals through Friday, while 29% of all emergency room visits Friday for COVID-19-like symptoms.
"I am calling on the governor to enact a statewide or at least regional masking law, reinstitute 'Safer at Home' for a period of 30 days, and close certain indoor businesses where masks cannot be worn 100 percent of the time," Jenkins said in a written statement. "Further, in-restaurant dining should be discouraged. If you must eat at a restaurant, please eat on the patio, but health professionals recommend take out or delivery services during this time of the surge."
In the city of Dallas, 71% of 6,083 hospital beds were occupied -- though not all with COVID-19 patients -- according to a tweet by Mayor Eric Johnson.
He added 74% of the city's 942 ICU beds were occupied and 36% of the city's nearly 1,000 ventilators were in use.
The positivity rate, a metric Abbott said would raise a red flag if it eclipsed 10%, reached 13.23% through Friday -- the highest its been in Texas since April.
The positivity rate measures the percentage of positive tests out of the total number of viral and antibody tests conducted.