Dallas County health officials reported 659 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest number reported since March 4.
On top of the upswing in cases, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center is forecasting a sharp increase in hospitalizations over the next several weeks due to lagging vaccination rates, reduced masking and social distancing, and the increased spread of the Delta variant of the virus.
Dallas County health officials also stated that they are now seeing that individuals under age 65 make up the largest percentage of hospitalizations in the county.
"If you are still unvaccinated, you are at risk of contracting COVID and possibly severe illness. Please consider getting vaccinated as soon as you can. This pandemic is far from over," said Jenkins.
On Wednesday, Dallas County Health and Human Services reported 659 additional positive cases, 546 confirmed cases, and 113 probable cases. DCHHS also reported an additional five deaths due to the virus, making a total of 4,171 Dallas County residents who have died from the virus.
A press release from the county states that Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) provided over 497,000 total doses of COVID-19 vaccine at the Fair Park mega-vaccine clinic, which operated Jan. 11 through July 17.
A pop-up vaccination clinic at Fair Park will continue over the next two weekends, Saturday, July 27 and Saturday, July 31 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. in Lot 13.
Full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it impacts you
"The Delta variant is at least twice as contagious as the original strain of COVID and we’re seeing the effects of that as the cases and hospitalizations continue to increase. The vast majority of new cases and hospitalizations are in unvaccinated individuals. Please go to www.vaccines.gov today to find a location near your ZIP code offering the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Your choice to get vaccinated can protect you, your loved ones, and your community,” said Jenkins.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.