Health officials in Dallas County on Saturday reported two more coronavirus-related deaths and 395 new confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The two fatalities reported Saturday included a Dallas woman in her 60s who had been critically ill at an area hospital with no underlying health conditions and an Irving woman in her 70s who had been critically ill at an area hospital and had underlying conditions, according to Dallas County Health and Human Services.
Sixty-five of the cases added Saturday were reported by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Of those, 39 were from samples collected before Aug. 1, and 26 were recorded in the month of August.
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While a backlog in the state's electronic laboratory reporting system caused spikes in newly reported cases over the last two weeks and skewed the county's seven-day and 14-day averages, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said DCHHS has adjusted all cases based on the date the COVID-19 test is collected.
Using that metric, Jenkins said daily average of new cases for the week ending Aug. 22 was 206, down from 299 the week ending Aug. 15.
"It is hot out there and masks can be inconvenient but it is imperative that we all wear our mask, maintain 6-foot distance, frequently wash our hands, avoid unnecessary trips and avoid any activity where you are indoors or around others and everyone cannot wear their mask one hundred percent of the time," Jenkins said. "If we continue doing this, we’ll continue to see gains, we’ll have less sickness and death, more businesses will stay open and our kids can get back to school sooner rather than later. We all have a role to play, and it’s everyone’s job to make smart decisions and to follow the science which can be found at www.DallasCountyCOVID.org."
The positivity rate in Dallas County fell to 11% last week, Jenkins added, down from 12.8% the week ending Aug. 15.
From Aug 8-21, 393 children between 5 and 18 years old tested positive for COVID-19 in Dallas County, about half of which were high school-aged, DCHHS said.
Of cases requiring hospitalization, about two-thirds have been in patients under 65 years old, while diabetes has been an underlying health condition in about one-third of hospitalized patients.
Of the 900 COVID-19-related deaths in Dallas County, about 26% have been associated with long-term care facilities.
The county has now accumulated 70,810 cases of the virus since testing began in March. With an estimated 53,087 recoveries being reported by the state through Friday, there are also an estimated 15,410 active cases in Dallas County. There have been 900 confirmed 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 5.5 deaths per day.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.