While five more people have died after contracting the 2019 novel coronavirus Wednesday and another 243 are confirmed to be infected, the trend indicated by the numbers is promising, according to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
The judge said in a prepared statement that the number of deaths and cases seen this week is lower than last week and that that is a good sign.
"Today's numbers are in line with what we've seen over the last 10 days. Although we lost five of our residents today, halfway through the week we are seeing a lower number of deaths than we saw last week which is a promising sign," said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. "Hopefully, this plateau will lead to a decrease. "
The latest to die include woman in her 60s, a man in his 60s and a man in his 70s, all from Dallas, and all who were critically ill and being treated at area hospitals for their infections. The other two victims were from Mesquite and include a woman in her 70s who was critically ill and being treated at a hospital and a woman in her 60s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in Mesquite and who died in a hospital emergency room.
The county's addition of 243 new cases is a slight increase over Tuesday's 236, which was the lowest number of new cases confirmed since May 3. The deaths announced Wednesday mark the 84th and 85th in the city of Dallas and the 9th and 10th in Mesquite. The additional deaths brings the county's total to 153 while the cases total is now 6,602.
Over the last seven days, Dallas County has averaged about 250 new cases per day. Jenkins acknowledged earlier in the week that the numbers have been flat, but said it's too early to say for sure if the county has hit its peak.
"It's too early to call this a plateau at the peak, but that would be consistent with the medical models from early April done before the governor's orders reopening business," Jenkins said Monday.
Dallas County does not report recoveries from COVID-19 because it lacks the manpower to follow up with thousands of patients, however, the Texas Department of State Health Services posts an estimated number of recoveries on its site and lists 39,895 for Dallas County as of Saturday, August 8. Using data supplied by the state, there are an estimated 12,258 active COVID-19 cases in the county.
Of cases requiring hospitalization who reported employment, the county reported 79% 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, the county reported 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.
Of the 153 total deaths reported to date, the county reported over a third have been associated with long-term care facilities.