The Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation has announced that mortalities due to the pandemic have become the leading cause of death among Dallas County residents, surpassing heart disease, cancer and strokes in the past year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first COVID-19 related death in Dallas County was recorded on March 19, 2020.
By March 21, 2021, deaths in Dallas County from COVID-19 stood at 3,763, while the estimated deaths due to heart disease stood at 3,668, cancer stood at 3,356, and strokes stood at 1,015 during that same period.
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COVID-19 deaths in Dallas County saw their steepest increases starting in December, the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation said.
On Dec. 21, 2020, deaths due to COVID-19 stood at 1,841, but in the following three months deaths more than doubled, adding 1,922 more casualties.
"This is a sad milestone for Dallas County," Vikas Chowdhry, Chief Analytics and Information Officer at PCCI, said. "We can see that COVID-19 claimed the most lives following social gatherings and holiday travel beginning with Thanksgiving through Christmas and New Year's. Starting in December we saw a startling spike of deaths due to COVID-19 that represented more than all of the deaths in the previous months we had experienced during the pandemic. This offers a valuable lesson going forward, that we must remain vigilant to protect ourselves, our families and friends."
The Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation recently forecast that Dallas County may reach COVID-19 herd immunity by mid-June.
In order to reach this threshold, however, residents of Dallas County need to continue their efforts to protect themselves from infection, the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation said.
"We are remaining optimistic that we can reach herd immunity by the early summer, but the key is ongoing vigilance, including continued adhering to local health official guidance, social distancing, face covering, and registering for vaccinations as soon as possible," Chowdhry said.
An animated graphic showing the evolution of the COVID-19 mortality rate in Dallas County can be viewed on PCCI's COVID-19 Hub for the region.