For the first time in more than two weeks, Dallas County is not reporting any new deaths of people infected with COVID-19 and the number of new cases is the lowest seen in nearly a month.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said on Monday the county was reporting 171 new cases of the virus, the lowest number seen since April 29, and that there were no new deaths to report.
"Today's numbers continue a trend of lower cases than we saw last week and we have a Memorial Day present in that no deaths have been reported," Jenkins said. "Whether this trend continues and we move from our current status of red "Stay Home, Stay Safe" to orange is up to all of us."
The additional cases bring the county total to just under 9,000 infections with 8,998. To date, there have been 211 deaths of people infected with the virus and more than a third of those deaths have been among residents of long-term care facilities.
Monday's number of new cases is the fifth out of the last six days, and the third straight, where it was below 200. It's also the lowest number reported in almost a month.
Jenkins urged all North Texans to continue to avoid crowds, maintain social and physical distancing and to continue, "wearing our face covering as a quintessential American value of an act of kindness and protection to essential workers and patrons when we are in businesses or on public transportation."
The county judge added that practicing good hygiene is also key to continue flattening the curve.
"I know this Memorial Day it's raining and people are anxious to get out and do somehing, but remember, local doctors, advise to avoid crowds and delay in-person dining until we have seen a 14-day decline in hospitalizations and ICU admissions," Jenkins said. "Whatever you do, have a very happy Memorial Day as we honor those who gave us the ultimate sacrifice for our country. All of us are in a place of sacrifice now albeit not as great as the sacrifice of our veterans. It's up to all of us to make smart choices and delay unnecessary shopping or dining trips to protect not only ourselves but our community."
DCHHS said Monday of cases requiring hospitalization who reported employment, over 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.