The Tarrant County Public Health Department confirms 1,730 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday along with another five new deaths.
The latest victims of the virus include a woman from Hurst in her 80s, a woman from North Richland Hills in her 70s, a man from Bedford in his 60s, a woman from Fort Worth in her 40s, and a man from Fort Worth in his 20s. All but one had underlying health conditions.
In the last seven days, the county has announced 7,792 new cases of the virus. Of the additional cases reported Wednesday, data from the county health department indicates there are 1,541 more confirmed cases than the most recent report and 189 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 91,981 confirmed cases of the virus and 11,800 probable cases for a total of 103,781 cases.
The county is also reporting another 1,215 estimated recoveries, bringing the total number of survivors to 73,232. There are currently an estimated 29,695 active cases in the county, the most of any North Texas county.
Of the county's cases, 71% 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 881 COVID-19 patients are currently occupying hospital beds in the county on Wednesday -- about 17% of capacity and a drop of 18 patients compared to Tuesday. TCPH data shows 741 ventilators on hand with 450 being available; of the 291 in use, it's not clear how many are in use by COVID-19 patients.
With 854 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.