Tarrant County Public Health is reporting 312 additional cases of COVID-19 Thursday along with four more deaths in Fort Worth and Arlington.
Of the 312 additional cases reported Thursday, data from the county health department indicates there are 257 more confirmed cases than the day before and 55 more probable cases.
The county began reporting both probable and confirmed cases 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 47,107 confirmed cases of the virus and 3,622 probable cases for a total of 50,729 cases.
The latest victims of the pandemic include four people from Fort Worth, Arlington and an unincorporated part of the county. The county has not yet released more details.
COVID-19 TRACKING u0026amp; TESTING
The county is also reporting another 254 estimated recoveries, bringing the total number of survivors to 44,149. There are currently an estimated 5,914 active cases in the 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 37%.
The health department reports 332 COVID-19 patients are currently occupying hospital beds in the county -- about 8% of capacity and an increase over the last few days. A month ago, on Sept. 1 COVID-19 patients occupied about 6% of Tarrant County hospital beds.
In an effort to curb the spread of the virus, the county health department is urging those contacted for contact tracing to answer the call, saying only about 51% of people contacted have responded.
"We must continue to protect our family and friends from COVID-19 until a vaccine is released and widely available,” said Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley in a statement on Tuesday. “If you or a family member is sick with COVID-19, please respond to Public Health calls and text messages. They are working to reduce the number of potentially sick people walking the virus around our county.”
“Our residents bent the curve in the early days of COVID-19. That permanently changed the course of the pandemic in our community and we need to continue that effort forward in order to help our struggling businesses fully open sooner. Please wear a mask, wash your hands and maintain a safe social distance so that we can all enjoy normal when it returns,” Whitley said Tuesday.
The TCPH said the growth of COVID-19 has changed the mortality of Tarrant County. In seven months, 662 residents have died compared to 167 deaths on Tarrant County highways in 2019. COVID-19 is now projected to be the third leading killer of our residents behind cancer and heart disease and is expected to surpass the annual total for stroke later this year.
With the recent changes to their reporting system, Tarrant County Public Health said changes have also been made to their online dashboard, most notably to the Case Counts tab and Cases by Location tab. The Case Counts tab now includes cases reported by week, including both probable and confirmed, while the Cases by Location tab includes a map showing the 30-day average infection rate by ZIP code.