Dallas County is reporting eight more COVID-19 related deaths and 1,055 new confirmed cases of the infection Wednesday, according to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
The eight latest victims of the virus include:
- A Grand Prairie man in his 50s who had underlying health conditions and had been critically ill in a hospital ICU with the virus.
- A Dallas man in his 60s who had been ill in an area hospital.
- A Mesquite woman in her 60s who had underlying health conditions and had been hospitalized.
- A Dallas man in his 60s who had underlying health conditions and had been critically ill in a hospital ICU with the virus.
- A Duncanville woman in her 70s who had underlying health conditions and had been hospitalized.
- A Dallas woman in her 70s who had underlying health conditions and had been hospitalized.
- A Dallas man in his 80s who did not have underlying health conditions and was a resident of a long-term care facility. He had been critically ill with the virus in a hospital ICU.
- A Dallas man in his 90s who had underlying health conditions and was a resident of a long-term care facility. He had been hospitalized with the virus.
"The eight deaths we experienced today make it clear that by the time this week is over on Saturday that this will be one of our deadliest weeks so far," said Jenkins.
The 1,055 cases reported Wednesday is the 13th-straight day with cases topping 1,000. The 7-day average for new cases is now 1,115 cases per day, up from an average of 209 per day on June 1. In the last week, Dallas County has added 7,809 new cases of the virus.
The county has now accumulated 36,969 cases of the virus since testing began in March. There have been 485 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. Since March 20, the date of the first reported COVID-19 related death in Dallas County, the county has averaged four deaths per day.
Dallas County officials said Wednesday they continue to see high numbers of COVID-19 patients in Dallas County with 648 people in acute care through Tuesday. Additionally, the number of ER visits for COVID-19 like symptoms was 646 in the 24-hour period ending Tuesday, July 14.
"I again urge Gov. Abbott to enact the reasonable, business-friendly suggestions from the medical community that we sent him three weeks ago and have again urged him to enact since that time. Essentially, that request is to close in-restaurant dining and businesses like cigar bars where 100% mask-wearing is not possible at all times. The longer we wait to enact these modest restrictions, the worse things will become and the more likely it is that more damage to the public health and the economy will occur."
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 of 16.89% on Monday. An increase in the positivity rate indicates an increase in the spread of the virus, not an increase in testing for the virus.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, an estimated 18,903 people (through Wednesday) in the county have recovered from the virus leaving an estimated 17,589 known patients fighting the infection.
County officials said last week more than half of the new cases reported have been young adults between the ages of 18 and 39.
To date, of cases requiring hospitalization who reported employment, 83% 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.