The Tarrant County Public Health Department confirms 1,503 new cases of COVID-19 Friday along with another seven new deaths.
The latest victims of the virus include two men from Arlington in their 80s, a man from Fort Worth in his 80s, a man in Fort Worth in his 70s, two men from Arlington in their 60s and a man from White Settlement in his 50s. Six of the individuals had underlying health conditions.
In the last seven days, the county has announced 11,189 new cases of the virus. Of the additional cases reported Friday, data from the county health department indicates there are 1,270 more confirmed cases than the most recent report and 233 more probable cases.
Tarrant County, which extended its mask mandate until Feb. 28, 2021, last week, began reporting both probable and confirmed cases of COVID-19 in August at the request of the state health department. Probable cases, the county said, account for a variety of real-world situations and could highlight cases in the community that may otherwise go unreported. To date, the county has reported 94,862 confirmed cases of the virus and 12,316 probable cases for a total of 107,178 cases.
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The county is also reporting another 748 estimated recoveries, bringing the total number of survivors to 75,014. There are currently an estimated 31,293 active cases in the county, the most of any North Texas county.
Of the county's cases, 70% of those who have died were over the age of 65 even though they only make up 10% of the cases. Those aged 25 to 44 make up the largest percentage of people with COVID-19 at 36%.
The health department reports 857 COVID-19 patients are currently occupying hospital beds in the county on Fridayday -- about 18% of capacity and a drop of 24 patients compared to Thursday. TCPH data shows 720 ventilators on hand with 433 being available; of the 287 in use, it's not clear how many are in use by COVID-19 patients.
With 871 deaths now attributed to the virus, COVID-19 is now projected to be the third-leading killer of Tarrant County residents behind cancer and heart disease and is expected to surpass the annual total for stroke later this year.
COVID-19 causes a respiratory illness with cough, fever and shortness of breath and may lead to bronchitis, severe pneumonia or even death. For more information go to coronavirus.tarrantcounty.com or call the Tarrant County Public Health information line, 817-248-6299, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.