Dallas County surpasses 100,000 total coronavirus cases; Denton County adds four more deaths

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Dallas County officials reported 624 more COVID-19 cases — all of which the county considers new — and has surpassed 100,000 confirmed and probable cases.

The county also reported three new COVID-19 deaths.

The county is the second in Texas to reach the six-figure mark in cases, following Harris County. It’s yet another sobering milestone in North Texas’ epidemic, and it arrives as cases steadily rise across the region, state and much of the U.S.

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 Wednesday, Dallas County health officials said 346 came from the state’s reporting system. The remaining 278 cases were reported directly to the county health department.

Two of the latest deaths were of Dallas women in their 60s. The other was of an Irving man in his 80s. The man did not have underlying health problems, while both of the women did.

“The most recent medical models indicate that we’ll have above 1,000 new cases per day by Thanksgiving unless we change our behavior, push through the COVID fatigue, and go back to doing the things that we know will keep us safe,” County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement.

Of the new cases reported Wednesday, 479 are confirmed and 145 are probable. The newly reported cases bring the county’s total confirmed cases to 94,837 and probable cases to 5,558. The county has recorded 1,104 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 14 probable deaths.

A spokeswoman recently said the county was counting only positive antigen tests (sometimes called rapid tests) as probable cases, though a few antibody and “household” results had been 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, 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 Wednesday, 498 COVID-19 patients were in acute care in hospitals in the county. During the same period, 485 ER visits were for symptoms of the disease.

The county’s provisional seven-day average of daily new confirmed and probable cases for the latest reporting period, Oct. 11-17, was 588 — the highest daily average since July, officials said. The figure is calculated by the date of the COVID-19 test collection, according to the county.

The county reported that during the Oct. 11-17 period, a total of 493 probable and confirmed cases were reported among school-age children. That’s about twice the number of cases reported in the same age group three weeks ago, Jenkins said.

“This is a reminder of the importance of keeping our community safe by keeping our children safe and avoiding crowds and promoting masking,” he said.

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, 14.2% of people who showed up at hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms tested positive for the virus. That’s an increase from the previous reporting period, when 12.6% such patients tested positive.

Statewide data

Across the state, 5,175 more cases and 105 COVID-19 deaths were reported Wednesday. Texas has now reported 879,994 confirmed cases and 17,700 fatalities.

There are 5,650 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals, including 1,529 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The seven-day average positivity rate statewide, based on the date of test specimen collection, was 9.9% as of Tuesday. State health officials said using data based on when people were tested provides 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 10.0% as of Tuesday.

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 8.4%, 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 641 coronavirus cases and five new deaths Wednesday.

The latest victims all lived in Fort Worth and had underlying health problems. They include a man in his 50s, two men in their 60s and two women in their 70s.

The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 65,368, including 59,189 confirmed cases, 6,179 probable cases and 52,070 recoveries. The death toll stands at 728.

According to Wednesday’s numbers on the county dashboard, 535 people are hospitalized with the virus.

Collin County

Collin County added 132 coronavirus cases Wednesday, bringing its total to 18,015. The county also reported three new deaths — its highest single-day toll since it reported three fatalities Oct. 10. The county’s death toll now stands at 180.

The county has 996 active cases of the virus — including 182 people who are hospitalized, according to the county dashboard — and has recorded 17,019 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 four more COVID-19 deaths Wednesday, all of whom were residents of long-term care facilities.

It’s the second-straight day county officials reported four fatalities at such facilities. Denton County Public Health on Wednesday reported that one man and two women over the age of 70 had died at Saddle Brook Memory Care Community, just one day after the county reported the deaths of three women at the same facility.

The other death announced Wednesday was of a man in his 70s who lived at Mayberry Gardens Assisted Living and Memory Care in Denton.

The county also reported 156 new coronavirus cases — of which 108 are active.

The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 16,592, including 2,873 that are active and 13,592 that are recoveries. The death toll stands at 127.

The newly reported cases raised the county’s total molecular cases to 14,672, while antigen cases stand at 1,920.

There are 79 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, 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: 1,945 cases, 32 deaths.
  • Kaufman County: 3,571 cases, 56 deaths.
  • Ellis County: 4,968 cases, 78 deaths.
  • Johnson County: 3,727 cases, 65 deaths.



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