Dallas, Texas – Dallas County on Tuesday reported 1,129 more coronavirus cases, all of which are considered new. Sixteen new COVID-19 deaths were also reported.
The latest victims included nine Dallas residents: a man in his 30s, two men in their 40s, a man in his 60s, two men and a woman in their 70s, and a man and a woman in their 80s. All had been hospitalized, and all except the woman in her 80s had underlying health conditions.
A Dallas woman in her 50s was also among the victims; she died at home and had underlying health conditions.
Two Garland residents were also among the most recent victims: an 18-year-old man who had been critically ill in a hospital and had underlying chronic medical conditions, and a woman in her 60s who had been critically ill in a hospital and did not have underlying health conditions.
The remaining victims included a Mesquite woman in her 50s, a Carrollton man in his 60s, a Richardson man in his 70s and a Hutchins man in his 70s. All had been critically ill in a hospital and had underlying health conditions.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins warned Tuesday that hospitalizations are at record highs while available ICU beds in the county are at “an all-time low.”
“Currently, 1 in 4 persons hospitalized in Dallas County has COVID and approximately 30% of those hospitalized in the region have COVID,” Jenkins said in a written statement. “With the UT Southwestern projections indicating that our numbers of COVID hospitalizations will rise dramatically by January 5, it is imperative that all of us make the small, smart sacrifices to keep ourselves and our community as healthy as possible in this time of high spread.”
Jenkins warned about the UT Southwestern forecast on Monday, which projects hospitalizations in Dallas County could reach 1,500 by Jan. 5. Jenkins said if hospitalizations soar that high, ICU beds will fill up and some patients will “be forced to have less than optimum care.”
Of the new cases reported Tuesday, 882 are confirmed and 247 are probable. The newly reported cases bring the county’s total confirmed cases to 168,782 and probable cases to 20,470. The county has recorded 1,596 COVID-19 deaths.
The county has said it is counting only positive antigen tests (sometimes called rapid tests) as probable cases; a few antibody and “household” results were included previously.
While other North Texas counties provide estimates for how many people have recovered from the virus, Dallas County officials do not report recoveries, noting that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not use that metric.
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 Monday, 1,018 COVID-19 patients were in acute care in hospitals in the county — a new record high. During the same period, 557 ER visits were for symptoms of the disease.
The county reported that over the last 30 days, 5,971 COVID-19 cases have been diagnosed in school-aged children and staff members from 756 schools in Dallas County. Since March, 21 school nurses have tested positive for COVID-19.
There are currently 102 active COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities, the highest number since the pandemic began, the county said. Of the county’s total COVID-19 deaths, about 22% are associated with long-term care facilities.