Dallas County is reporting another 445 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday along with seven more deaths and a record number of hospitalizations for the 2019 novel coronavirus, county officials say.
The hospitalizations due to the virus are an all-time high for the North Texas region, topping 1,000 people.
"Today's numbers continue all-time highs. In the region, we are above 1,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations for the first time and in Dallas County, we are experiencing our highest COVID-19 hospitalizations thus far," said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. "We are seeing a second wave of COVID-19 cases and I was hopeful the state would see fit to make some of the recommendations in the Open Texas document requirements. Although, the only requirement is the masking requirement passed by Dallas County and other counties."
Jenkins advised people to follow the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health departments as if they were state requirements.
"This is the best way to protect yourself and others from this wave of COVID-19 that we are seeing," Jenkins said.
The seven latest victims to die after contracting the virus were from Dallas, Mesquite and Irving and included patients ranging in age from their 40s to 80s.
- An Irving man in his 40s who had been critically ill in an area hospital and had underlying health conditions.
- An Irving man in his 50s who had been critically ill in an area hospital and had underlying high-risk health conditions.
- A Dallas man in his 60s who was found deceased at home and did not have underlying high-risk health conditions.
- A Dallas man in his 60s who had been critically ill in a hospital and had underlying high-risk health conditions.
- A Dallas woman in her 60s who was a resident of a long-term care facility and had been critically ill in a hospital and did not have underlying high-risk health conditions.
- A Mesquite man in his 80s who died at the long-term care facility where he lived. He did not have any high-risk health conditions.
- A Dallas man in his 80s who died at a hospital.
The county has now accumulated 17,744 cases of the virus since testing began in March. There have been 324 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 malignant neoplasm (cancer).
The 445 new cases reported Tuesday is the second-highest number of new COVID-19 cases ever reported in the county. It's also the 14th straight day where cases have been above 300 and third straight day over 400. The 7-day average for new cases is now 414 cases per day.
On June 1, the seven day average for new cases was 209 new cases per day.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, an estimated 11,006 people (through Tuesday) in the county have recovered from the virus leaving an estimated 6,414 known patients fighting the infection.
Instead of focusing on cases, however, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said that the real focus should be hospitalizations. Jenkins said last week the hospitals had well over 400 COVID-19 patients, up from the 250-300 COVID-19 patients seen in weeks prior. Updated numbers on hospitalizations over the weekend are expected later Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the number of ER visits for COIVD-19 like symptoms in Dallas County for a 24-hour period ending Monday, June 22, was 479 people, representing 26% of all visits reported to the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council.
Last week the Dallas County Commissioners Court mandated that all customers and employees wear face coverings while inside businesses inside Dallas County. If people refuse, the business could face a fine.
Jenkins is hopeful the mask policy will help curb the spread of the virus saying Friday that in the 15 states where they were mandated there were declines in infections. Jenkins added that in 31 other states where they were required in businesses only, like in Dallas County, there was also evidence it helped curb the spread of the virus.
To date, 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.