Dallas County is reporting the biggest single-day jump in hospitalizations Monday along with another record number of COVID-19 cases and six more deaths, county officials say.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement there were 105 more hospitalizations than the day before, a 16% increase in one day alone.
"We also reached a new milestone in the number of new COVID-19 cases, but it's the hospitalizations number that we must watch closely," Jenkins said. "We are seeing rampant spread."
Six people whose ages ranged from their 40s to their 100s are among the latest North Texans to die after contracting the virus. The latest victims include:
- A DeSoto man in his 40s who had been hospitalized.
- A Dallas woman in her 50s who had been critically ill in an area hospital who had underlying high-risk health conditions.
- A Grand Prairie man in his 60s who had been critically ill in an area hospital and had underlying high-risk health conditions.
- A Dallas man in his 70s who had been critically ill in an area hospital and had underlying high-risk health conditions.
- A Dallas woman in her 80s who had been critically ill in an area hospital and who did not have underlying high-risk health conditions.
- A Dallas woman in her 100s who died at the long-term care facility where she lived.
The 1,214 cases reported Monday is the fourth-straight day with cases topping 1,000. The 7-day average for new cases is now 902 cases per day, up from an average of 209 per day on June 1. In the last week, Dallas County has added 6,317 new cases of the virus.
The increase in cases comes as the state's positivity rate, the percentage of people testing positive for the virus, has been sustained for a week at about 13%. An increase in the positivity rate indicates an increase in the spread of the virus, not an increase in testing for the virus.
The county has now accumulated more than 27,000 cases of the virus since testing began in March. There have been 401 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.
Already, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has shut down bars and mandated face coverings in counties with 20 or more cases. But Jenkins has asked the governor to do more by closing bowling alleys, amusement parks, concert venues, gyms and indoor restaurant dining. And that’s just naming a few on a list of suggested measures.
“Hopefully our public can see that it is time for us to essentially limit all of our activity to absolute necessities,” said Jenkins. “If the governor says, ‘Let’s leave the restaurants open for another week or two and let's just see what happens,’ well we know what will happen.”
A spokesman with Abbott’s office had this to say to NBC 5 over the phone Monday: “The governor is listening to the advice of doctors and following data which is why he closed bars. He will continue to make his decisions based on the data.”
As for the numbers, Jenkins said the case numbers being reported at least a week behind the actual testing date, so we should brace ourselves. He’s urging Dallas County residents to act as if more restrictions are in place whether the governor implements them or not.
“The next two weeks, probably this entire month will be bumpy, it will be tough,” he said. “No reason to wait on politicians. We all need to do our very best to keep ourselves safe right now.”
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, an estimated 14,994 people (through Monday) in the county have recovered from the virus leaving an estimated 11,659 known patients fighting the infection.
County officials said last week more than half of the new cases reported have been young adults between the ages of 18 and 39.
Effective June 19, 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.
A similar order was put in place statewide July 2 by Gov. Greg Abbott for all counties except those with 20 or fewer cases.
To date, of cases requiring hospitalization who reported employment, 83% 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.