Dallas County adds 460 confirmed coronavirus cases, 1 death; officials warn of rising hospitalizations

Dallas County reported 460 more confirmed coronavirus cases Saturday, including 455 which the county considers new and five from previous months. One new COVID-19 death was also reported.

Labs either report coronavirus cases directly to the county health department or to the state health department, which then relays the information to individual counties. Of cases reported Saturday, Dallas County health officials said 167 came from the state’s reporting system, including one from March, four from September and 162 from October. The remaining 293 cases were reported directly to the county health department.

The latest victim was a woman in her 80s who lived in a long-term care facility in Richardson. She died at the facility and did not have any underlying health conditions.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins urged people to continue following public health precautions including social distancing and masking wearing, citing an increase in the county’s hospitalizations.

“Our hospitalizations since September 27 have increased more than 40%,” Jenkins said in a written statement. “The decisions that you make today and tomorrow and every day that follows will determine what happens a week or two after.”

A county spokeswoman said Friday that the countywide totals for confirmed and probable cases will be unclear for a few days because of an ongoing transition between data platforms. The county’s confirmed death toll stands at 1,048.

Additionally, Dallas County reported 32 probable cases Saturday.

Probable cases and deaths include people who had a positive antigen test (sometimes called rapid tests); had antibodies for the virus; or had COVID-19 symptoms and contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.

While other North Texas counties provide estimates for how many people have recovered from the virus, Dallas County officials do not report recoveries, saying it’s not a measurement used by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health officials use hospitalizations, intensive-care admissions and emergency room visits as key metrics to track the real-time impact of COVID-19 in the county. In the 24-hour period that ended Friday, 381 COVID-19 patients were in acute care in hospitals in the county. During the same period, 432 ER visits were for symptoms of the disease.

County health officials said earlier in the week that the current data reflects increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations and ER visits.

The county reported that between Sept. 27 and Oct. 3, 265 school-age children tested positive for COVID-19, an increase from the previous week.

More than two-thirds of all confirmed cases requiring hospitalization so far have been in people under 65, and diabetes has been an underlying condition in about one-third of all hospitalized patients, according to the county.

The county’s provisional seven-day average of daily new confirmed and probable cases for the latest reporting period, Sept. 27 to Oct. 3, was 346 — roughly the same as the week before, when the average was 347. The figure is calculated by the date of the COVID-19 test collection, according to the county.

Dallas County doesn’t provide a positivity rate for all COVID-19 tests conducted in the area; county health officials have said they don’t have an accurate count of how many tests are conducted each day. But as of the county’s most recent reporting period, 9.8% of people who showed up at hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms tested positive for the virus. That’s a decrease from the previous reporting period, when 10.8% of such patients tested positive.

Of the county’s total confirmed COVID-19 deaths, about 24% are associated with long-term care facilities.

Statewide data

Across the state, 4,230 more cases were reported Saturday, of which 4,046 are considered new. The other 184 were older cases recently reported by labs, the state said on its dashboard.

The state also reported 94 new deaths Saturday.

Texas has now reported 790,060 confirmed cases and 16,526 fatalities.

There are 3,628 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals, including 974 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The seven-day average positivity rate statewide, based on the date of test specimen collection, was 6.96% as of Friday. State health officials said using data based on when people were tested will provide the most accurate positivity rate.

The state also provides a positivity rate based on when lab results were reported to the state; that rate stood at 7.1% as of Friday.

Officials previously calculated Texas’ coronavirus positivity rate by dividing the most recent seven days of new positive test results by the most recent seven days of total new test results. By that measure, the positivity rate is now 7.93%, according to its dashboard.

A spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services said that positivity rate data based on lab results and new cases will likely be phased out but is still being provided for transparency and continuity purposes.

Tarrant County

Tarrant County reported 418 coronavirus cases and two new deaths Saturday.

The latest victims were two Fort Worth residents, a woman in her 50s and a man in his 70s who both had underlying health conditions.

The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 54,570, including 4,320 probable cases and 46,449 recoveries. The death toll stands at 692.

According to the county dashboard, 380 people are hospitalized with the virus.

Collin County

Collin County added 145 coronavirus cases Saturday, of which 141 were considered new, bringing its total to 16,151. The county also reported three new deaths, raising the toll to 164.

The county has 862 active cases of the virus — including 115 people who are hospitalized, according to the county dashboard — and has recorded 15,289 recoveries.

Collin County, which receives its data from the Department of State Health Services since turning over case management in June, has a note on its dashboard warning residents that it has low confidence in the numbers the state is providing.

Denton County

Denton County reported 58 coronavirus cases — of which 40 are active — and no new deaths Saturday.

The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 14,196, including 1,935 that are active and 12,148 that are recoveries. The death toll stands at 113.

The newly reported cases raised the county’s total molecular cases to 12,864, while antigen cases stand at 1,332.

There were 52 COVID-19 patients hospitalized Friday, according to the county’s data.

Other counties

The Texas Department of State Health Services has taken over reporting for these other North Texas counties. In some counties, new data may not be reported every day.

The latest numbers are:

Rockwall County: 1,729 cases, 30 deaths.

Kaufman County: 3,265 cases, 49 deaths.

Ellis County: 4,574 cases, 71 deaths.

Johnson County: 3,277 cases, 56 deaths.


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