In a press conference Thursday evening, Dallas County Health and Human Services director Dr. Philip Huang warned that Friday would likely bring more than 1,000 new cases.
Today, county health officials report 1,085 new positive COVID-19 cases, bringing the total case count in Dallas County to 23,675, including 393 deaths.
“This is obviously not where we wanted to be in July,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said. “It’s beyond frustrating that we are where we are. The important thing for us to focus on now is, frankly, not how we got here, but how we’re going to get out of this. We will get through this.”
Jenkins said hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have about doubled in just the last month, and that it took 92 days to reach 300 COVID-19 cases in a day, and only 22 days since then to hit 700.
“This is scary, folks,” he said.
Huang and Jenkins said the same behaviors at Memorial Day that leading public health officials believe are the genesis for this latest uptick cannot be repeated on this Fourth of July weekend without disastrous consequences.
“We cannot have another Memorial Day over this July 4 weekend,” Huang said. “If that happens, it will really be catastrophic.”
“It’s a big sacrifice that I’m asking you for,” Jenkins said. “I know you’ve got traditions on the Fourth of July, and I’m asking you to put those aside and be sacrificial and stay home with just the people that you’re around every day so that we have our best chance of this not getting a lot worse two weeks from now.”
Huang and Jenkins said that cases attributable to the Memorial Day weekend have been coming in over a three to four week period.
“I think simultaneously everyone thought things were open, now we can go back to normal,” Huang said. “And now three, four weeks out, this is where we’re seeing the effects of that.”
Jenkins encouraged people to keep celebrations small this year.
“If we let our guard down this weekend, we can set our economy back by months,” Jenkins said. “We can have a lot more people sick and a lot more people dying. So, it’s really up to all of us.”
Six more people died from complications related to the virus, too, including a Grand Prairie man in his 60s, an Irving woman in her 60s, a Garland woman in her 60s, an Irving man in his 70s, and a Dallas woman in her 90s who died in hospice care. Additionally, a Farmers Branch man in his 70s died in a local hospital emergency room. All had underlying health conditions.
We will have a more in-depth look at the recent local statistics with Monday’s morning digest.