For at least the fourth straight day, Dallas County is reporting a record-high number of COVID-19 hospitalizations Friday while adding another 2,387 new confirmed and probable cases of the virus and 21 more deaths.
Officials in the county said there were a record 1,206 COVID-19 patients in acute care in Dallas County through Thursday and that there were another 608 people with COVID-19 symptoms who visited county emergency rooms in the same 24-hour period.
Of the 2,387 cases reported Friday, the county said 2,106 were confirmed cases and 281 were probable (antigen test) cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the county from March 2020 to 188,287 and the number of probable (antigen test) cases to 23,492. The total of confirmed and probable cases in the county is now at 211,779. Over the last seven days, Dallas County officials have reported 18,461 new confirmed and probable cases of the virus for an average of 2,637 per day.
County officials said Friday there have been 1,756 deaths in the county attributed to the virus since March 2020. The 21 latest victims include people whose ages ranged from their 20s and 40s to their 90s and included one man who was found deceased at home.
"These numbers and deaths are a somber reminder that COVID is at all-time highs and can cause serious illness, and potentially fatal illness, for people of all ages," said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins in a prepared statement. "It is particularly important in January and February before the vaccine has a chance to work on our healthcare heroes and those most vulnerable, that we continue to make smart decisions to avoid crowds and forgo get-togethers whenever possible."
Dallas County has begun taking registrations for those in Phase 1B to be vaccinated. They announced Thursday they planned to open a large-scale vaccine hub at Fair Park next week where they can administer up to 2,000 vaccines per day. The county is also planning on providing vaccines at two other locations in the county where they can administer an additional 1,000 vaccines per day.
We are working feverishly to get the sites open that will increase vaccination to our 1B population next week," said Jenkins on Thursday. "It will be an effort led by Dallas County but with the help of EMTs from all of our cities."
If you would like to register to receive a COVID-19 vaccination in Dallas County, click here for more information.
The vaccines will be available by appointment only and will not be provided to walk-ups. To register to receive a vaccine, click on the link above. Jenkins said people will be notified of when to show up for a vaccine and that they'll be selected based on priority.
"At this current point for vaccinations, the key is to be both patient and diligent. Patient in understanding that there’s not enough vaccine to vaccinate everyone immediately but diligent in making sure you sign up for the registration list and any other list that you may be entitled to be a part of such as with your healthcare provider,” said Jenkins.
The vaccine is currently only being administered to those who are part of Phase 1A and 1B, as outlined by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Those in Phase 1A are front-line healthcare workers or residents of long-term care facilities. Phase 1B includes those who are over the age of 65, or those over the age of 16 with a chronic medical condition that puts them at risk for severe illness.
Once vaccinated, people are expected to get some level of protection within a couple of weeks after the first shot, but full protection may not happen until a couple of weeks after the second shot. Even when fully vaccinated, it's still possible to become infected by the virus since the vaccine does not offer 100% protection.