As new COVID-19 cases are reported, here is what you need to know today:
- Dallas County reports 141 new positive COVID-19 cases;
- County health official says COVID numbers are ‘precarious’.
Dallas County Reports 141 New Positive Cases
Dallas County Health and Human Services reported Thursday a total of 704 additional cases (703 confirmed and one probable) of COVID-19. Of the 704 newly reported confirmed cases, 160 were from the month of September. The cumulative confirmed case count in Dallas County is 79,426 including 1,005 confirmed deaths.
The cumulative probable case count in Dallas County is 3,878, including 11 probable deaths from COVID-19. Of the 703 new reports of positive molecular COVID-19 tests, 692 came through the Texas Department of State Health Services’ electronic laboratory reporting system and 563 were from previous months.
The additional three deaths reported Thursday include the following:
- A woman in her 60s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in Dallas. She had been critically ill in an area hospital and did not have underlying high-risk health conditions.
- A woman in her 70s who was a resident of Dallas. She had been critically ill in an area hospital and did not have underlying high-risk health conditions.
- A woman in her 90s who was a resident of Carrollton. She had been critically ill in an area hospital and had underlying high-risk health conditions.
A provisional total of 179 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in school-aged children between 5 and 17 years of age during the week ending Sept. 12, an increase from the previous week for this age group. The percentage of cases occurring in young adults aged 18 to 22 years increased to 14% for the month of September.
Of all confirmed cases requiring hospitalization to date, more than two-thirds have been under 65 years of age. Diabetes has been an underlying high-risk health condition reported in about a third of all hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Of the total confirmed deaths reported to date, about 25% have been associated with long-term care facilities.
The county said that the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations Wednesday was 314 patients. Emergency room visits for COVID-19 symptoms represented about 14% of all ER visits as of Wednesday, according to information reported to the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council.
“Although we are concerned about the numbers in surrounding counties and how that will affect us, and although there are other parts of the state that are seeing upticks, Dallas County is still considered flat by the medical modelers and doctors who are looking at it,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. “Our improvement has stopped but we have not seen an increase over a 7 or 14 day period in the metrics that the doctors look at. It’s particularly important during this time where we are seeing the reemergence and increase of COVID-19 in other counties and regions of Texas, and considering the interconnectedness of all of us, that you continue to make the smart decisions that have led to good trends over the last two months here in Dallas County.”
Jenkins reminded residents that doctors are still discouraging going to bars and working out in gyms, as well as spending time in places where masks cannot be worn all the time.
“Whether the curve stays flat, goes up, or goes down is largely up to all of us and the decisions that we make,” he said. “Let’s put the community good over our selfish desires to do the few things that doctors are saying are not safe at this time and by doing that we can see less sickness, more businesses thrive and keep our residents employed, and get more of our kids back to school sooner rather than later.”
County Health Official: COVID Numbers Are ‘Precarious’
D CEO managing editor Will Maddox took a look at what is worrying local health experts when it comes to students returning to campuses, and Gov. Greg Abbott’s loosening of restrictions.
“Right on cue, cooler weather arrived with the beginning of fall, a welcome break from the North Texas heat. That cooler weather is the background to school openings and Gov. Greg Abbott further loosening of capacity restrictions for restaurants and retailers, which can now welcome 75 percent of their occupancy maximums,” he wrote. “For those whose jobs are to monitor COVID-19, those things make for a troubling combination.”
Dallas County Medical Director Dr. Philip Huang said that they’re continuing to watch all the indicators, and that he’s focusing on the number of new cases, the positivity rate of testing, hospitalizations, and ER visits, and called the situation “very precarious.”