Dallas County is reporting another 300 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday along with the deaths of three more people, according to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
Jenkins confirmed the latest numbers to NBC 5 during an interview early Wednesday afternoon.
The additional 3 deaths being reported Wednesday include:
- A Dallas woman in her 40s who had underlying high-risk health conditions and had been hospitalized.
- A DeSoto man in his 70s who had been hospitalized and had underlying high-risk health conditions.
- A Garland woman in her 80s who died at the long-term care facility where she lived. She did not have underlying high-risk health conditions.
"Today we had our highest day thus far, we broke 300 for the first time. An important thing to remember about that it's probably akin to a couple of things. We're doing more testing and so when you test more you're going to find more. Memorial Day weekend a lot of folks got together and let their guards down and this is about 11 days or so after that and that's when you begin to see the repercussions of bad decisions. So that's happening too," Jenkins said.
"What's probably more concerning is yesterday we saw an increase of about 80 COVID hospitalizations across DFW, 25 just here in Dallas County. That does have our doctors concerned. It's not a trend yet because we look at 7-day averages but the last two days have been ugly and we're watching it closely," Jenkins said. "If the trend continues over what we've seen the last two days if that continues through the week that'd be a pretty significant increase, but two days does not make a trend, so we'll just watch it closely."
After a drop in daily cases in late May, the number of new cases surged well above 200 again every day this month and, twice last week, set records for the number of new cases set in the county.
Wednesday's 300 cases set the new high mark and tops the 298 reached last week and again yesterday.
There are now 12,945 confirmed cases in Dallas County with 274 deaths. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, an estimated 7,842 people (through Tuesday) in the county have recovered from the virus leaving an estimated 4,829 active cases in the county.
Jenkins said people should continue to observe physical distancing recommendations and wear face coverings when in public.
DCHHS said Tuesday they have seen a slight increase in the number of patients in the daily hospital census reported June 8 to more than 300 COVID-19 patients in Dallas County hospitals. Previously that number was just below 300. Additionally, they reported an increase in the percentage of emergency room visits for COVID-19 like symptoms to 25%, representing some 446 patients.
On Monday, Jenkins added that two new test sites were open Monday through Saturday at Red Bird Mall and Inspired Vision Compassion Center from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for walk-up testing. There is still free drive-thru testing at the American Airlines Center and Ellis Davis Field House.
On Wednesday, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., anyone who was involved in area protests five or more days ago is welcome to be tested for COVID-19 for free at Parkland Hospital and at American Airlines Center.
"Your information is not shared with law enforcement nor does a test count against the public charge rule," Jenkins said.
DCHHS said local health experts use hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and ER visits as three of the key indicators in determining the COVID-19 Risk Level (color-coded risk seen below) and corresponding guidelines for activities during our COVID-19 response.
DCHHS said Thursday 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.
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.
NBC 5's Yona Gavino contributed to this report.