Updated at 5:50 p.m.: Revised to include statewide numbers.
Dallas County health officials reported 578 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, the majority of which came from the state’s backlog, along with nine deaths.
Of the new cases, 424 came from a backlog caused by coding issues in the state’s reporting system. The backlog added six cases from March, 116 from April, 271 from May and 31 from June.
The most recent victims include two Dallas residents, a man in his 40s and a woman in her 80s, and two residents of long-term care facilities in Lancaster, a woman in her 60s and a woman in her 70s.
The remaining victims were a Wilmer man in his 40s, an Irving woman in her 50s, a Farmers Branch woman in her 60s, a Mesquite man in his 60s and a Richardson man in his 60s.
Dallas County has now had 69,881 confirmed cases of the virus, including 890 deaths. The county said there are also 2,746 probable cases and eight probable deaths. Dallas County does not report a number of recoveries.
Statewide, 5,045 new cases and 229 deaths were reported Wednesday, raising the state’s totals to 592,137 confirmed cases and 11,805 deaths from COVID-19.
There are 4,806 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals, including 931 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to the state’s data. The seven-day average of positive tests across Texas is 13.5%, above the 10% threshold that Gov. Greg Abbott has said is cause for concern.
County Judge Clay Jenkins said that even with the backlog, Dallas County is continuing to trend in the right direction.
“Unfortunately, it is possible that the state is also losing cases that were done recently and not reporting those cases timely, but we can look at hospitalizations and other factors … and see that the trends are moving in a positive direction,” he said in a written statement.
Health experts have said that hospitalizations and ICU admissions are more valuable than case counts in measuring the course of the outbreak. On Tuesday, 408 people were hospitalized with the virus, and 491 people visited emergency rooms with COVID-19 symptoms, making up about 20% of all ER visits in the county.
County health officials also cautioned that the number of school-age children getting sick with the virus is still high — 531 kids ages 5 to 18 tested positive for the coronavirus Aug. 1-14. About half of those cases were among high-school students, the majority of whom are believed to be enrolled in Dallas ISD, based on their ZIP code of residency, health officials said.
Jenkins emphasized that residents should continue to wear masks in public, social distance and avoid nonessential errands to continue the downward trend in cases.
He also noted that residents along the Texas coast, some of whom have evacuated and are taking shelter in Dallas-Fort Worth hotels, will not put the county at any risk of further COVID-19 spread.
“The people fleeing Hurricane Laura are no more likely to have COVID-19 than members of the general population anywhere in Texas, and the services that we’ll provide to them, including COVID-19 testing, will be done from our excess capacity, so no one in Dallas County will be denied a COVID-19 test or services due to the services being provided to our neighbors from the Texas coast,” he said.
Tarrant County reported 199 new cases of the virus Wednesday, along with five deaths.
The most recent victims were an Arlington man and woman in their 50s, a Fort Worth man in his 60s, a Watauga woman in her 70s and a Bedford woman in her 90s.
The county has now reported 40,530 cases of the virus, including 524 deaths. Of the case total, 2,079 are considered probable, officials said.
A total of 314 patients are hospitalized, and 34,173 people have recovered.
Officials in Collin County did not report any coronavirus cases or deaths Wednesday.
The county’s totals remain at 10,474 confirmed cases, with 105 deaths and 5,709 recoveries. Eighty-three patients are hospitalized.
The county has said that it “lacks confidence” in the case numbers being provided by the Department of State Health Services. DSHS is looking into the issue, County Judge Chris Hill has said, but the county’s case dashboard said there is no timeline for that process.
Denton County health officials reported 138 additional positive coronavirus tests Wednesday.
No new deaths were announced, leaving the county’s COVID-19 toll at 98.
The county has had 9,544 confirmed cases of the virus, including 7,370 recoveries. Forty-four patients remain hospitalized.
The Texas Department of State Health Services has taken over reporting for many North Texas counties, and some may not report updates each day.
The latest numbers are:
- Rockwall County: 1,284 cases, 21 deaths.
- Kaufman County: 2,705 cases, 33 deaths.
- Ellis County: 3,670 cases, 55 deaths.
- Johnson County: 2,451 cases, 42 deaths.
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