County Reports 4,176 New Confirmed COVID Cases Over Weekend

A total of 4,176 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus were reported by Dallas County health officials between Friday and Sunday, and an additional 586 probable cases were reported, along with 13 deaths.

On Friday, the county reported 906 cases (649 confirmed cases and 257 probable) and eight deaths; on Saturday,  1,675 cases (1,411  confirmed and 264  probable) and two deaths; and on Sunday, 1,852 cases (1,787  confirmed and 65 probable) and three deaths.

Among the dead are a Mesquite woman in her 30s, a Dallas woman in her 60s, three Dallas men in their 60s – one without any underlying health conditions, a Dallas woman in her 70s, five Dallas men in their 70s, and two Dallas women in their 80s. Unless otherwise noted, all had underlying high-risk medical conditions.

The county said that the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations Friday was 764 patients. Emergency room visits for COVID-19 symptoms represented about 21% (up from 20%) of all ER visits, according to information reported to the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council

UT Southwestern’s latest forecast projects that by Dec. 15, Dallas County hospitals could see concurrent hospitalizations rise to between 730 and 1,250 cases, with roughly 1,800 new cases per day on average. 

Monday, the ParkLand Center of Clinical Innovation said its Vulnerability index found “significant increases in vulnerability to COVID-19 infection in Dallas County” that indicated a significant increase in people leaving their homes around the holiday.

“PCCI analysis indicates a systemic increase in people leaving their home in the two-week period around Thanksgiving. Paired with the dramatic increase in the Vulnerability Index, our community will be challenged through the December holidays and into the first part on 2021,” said Thomas Roderick, PhD, senior director of data and applied sciences at PCCI.

According to trackers provided by Dallas ISD and Highland Park ISD, cases of COVID-19 are cropping up at schools. On Friday, Dallas ISD’s COVID-19 dashboard indicated that there were now 1,594 cases throughout the district – 686 among campus staff, 173 among central staff, and 735 among students.

Hillcrest High School has 16 cases, W.T. White High School has 21 cases, Thomas Jefferson High School has 21, Marsh Middle School has six cases, Benjamin Franklin Middle School has seven, Medrano Middle School has eight, Longfellow has five, Walker Middle School has two, Dealey Montessori has six, Walnut Hill Elementary has 17, Sudie Williams has three, Foster Elementary has one, Nathan Adams Elementary has four, Pershing Elementary has two, Withers Elementary has six, Gooch Elementary has 11, Kramer Elementary has eight, Preston Hollow Elementary has six, and K.B. Polk has five cases.

Highland Park ISD is reporting 14 staff cases (six among the five elementary schools,  seven at the two middle schools, and two at Highland Park High School) and 18 student cases (eight among the five elementary schools, seven at the two middle schools, and one at Highland Park High School), and 15 student cases. Neither district provides information on how many students and staff have quarantined due to classroom exposure to the virus. 

Not all private schools are publicly reporting their cases, but among those that are:

  • Greenhill reported five active cases (four students and one staff member) as of Dec. 6.
  • Ursuline reported one lab-confirmed student cases of COVID-19 and seven students quarantining as of Dec.4, and one confirmed case among staff, with two quarantining.
  • Hockaday reported one student and two staff members as having active cases, with three students and one staff member currently quarantining.

Dallas County reported that since Nov. 1, there have been 5,320 COVID-19 cases in school-aged children and staff reported from over 770 separate K-12 schools in Dallas County, including 849 staff members. Thirteen K-12 schools in Dallas County initiated temporary closures of their campuses to in-person instruction last week due to COVID-19. 

In the county’s Dec. 4 aggregate report, the county broke down probable cases for children ages 5 to 17 by city. Dallas children in this age group with confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 numbered at 373 for the week ending Nov. 28 and 566 for the week ending Nov. 21. Highland Park children numbered two for the week ending Nov. 28 and five for the week ending Nov. 21. University Park children numbered five for the week ending Nov. 28 and seven for the week ending Nov. 21.

Dallas County reported in its aggregate report that most confirmed cases continue to be between the ages of 18 and 60, with the 18-40 age group accounting for 46% of the cases, and the 41-64 age group accounting for another 33% of the total cases. The zero-17 age range, which had been hovering around 11% for some time, shot up to 13%.

Of the testing done, positive cases accounted for 22.3% as of Nov. 28, with 691positives coming from 3,098 tests. Testing for the week prior found that positive cases accounted for 20.4% of all testing.

Eight percent of all cases ended up hospitalized – 23% ended up in intensive care, and 12% ended up on a ventilator.

In a city-by-city breakdown, Dallas still comes in with the highest number of cases – 65,351 confirmed cases and 6,755 probable cases. Highland Park has 255 confirmed cases and 85 probable cases, and University Park has 694 confirmed cases and 552 probable cases.

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at [email protected].

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