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Dallas County adds 982 coronavirus cases, is seeing highest average daily case rate of pandemic – The Dallas Morning News

Updated 4:10 p.m.: Revised to include COVID-19 data from Denton County.

Dallas County on Saturday reported 982 more coronavirus cases, all of which the county considers new. Four new COVID-19 deaths were also reported.

The latest victims were a Lancaster man in his 60s, a Dallas man in his 70s and a man and woman from DeSoto, both in their 80s. All the victims had been hospitalized and had underlying health conditions.

Saturday’s report included COVID-19 test results reported through late Wednesday afternoon, while Sunday’s report will include results from Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said.

“Testing generally goes down on holiday weekends and we expect the numbers will be more representative of the situation on the ground by mid-week,” Jenkins said in a written statement. “Overall, I believe Dallas County residents took the health community’s warnings and advice to heart and there was less gathering and less going to crowded spaces for this holiday. We will be able to tell to what extent we saw a spike from the Thanksgiving weekend beginning one to two weeks after it is over.”

Of the new cases reported Saturday, 739 are confirmed and 243 are probable. The newly reported cases bring the county’s total confirmed cases to 122,923 and probable cases to 11,870. The county has recorded 1,204 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 31 probable deaths.

The county recently announced 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 Wednesday, 759 COVID-19 patients were in acute care in hospitals in the county. During the same period, 495 ER visits were for symptoms of the disease.

The county reported that in the Nov. 8-14 period, 1,282 confirmed and probable coronavirus cases were diagnosed in school-age children. Since Nov. 1, there have been 3,630 COVID-19 cases reported among school-age children and staff from more than 632 schools in Dallas County, and more than 130 COVID-19 cases reported in children and staff at 97 day-care centers in the county.

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 Nov. 8-14 period was 1,405. That equates to 53.3 daily new cases per 100,000 residents — the highest rate the county has seen since the pandemic began, health officials said. 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, 17% 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 15.3% such patients tested positive.

Of the county’s total confirmed COVID-19 deaths, about 23% are associated with long-term care facilities.

The county said that in the last 30 days, more than 850 COVID-19 cases have been reported among 84 long-term care facilities in the county, including 304 cases among staff members. It’s the highest number of long-term care facilities with active outbreaks since the pandemic began, health officials said.

Statewide data

Across the state, 3,954 new confirmed cases and 102 COVID-19 deaths were reported Saturday. The state also reported 70 older COVID-19 cases that were recently reported by labs.

Texas has now reported 1,151,069 confirmed cases and 21,309 fatalities.

There are 8,597 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals, including 2,385 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Of all hospitalizations in the 19-county hospital region that covers the Dallas-Fort Worth area, 15.63% are COVID-19 patients, according to the state’s data. That’s above the 15% threshold set by Gov. Greg Abbott’s in an Oct. 7 executive order that states businesses must scale back from 75% to 50% capacity if they are in a region where more than 15% of hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients for seven days in a row.

The area first hit the 15% threshold Friday after several record-setting days.

The seven-day average positivity rate statewide, based on the date of test specimen collection, was 10.823% as of Friday. 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 11.1% 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 10.12%, according to the state 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 health officials will begin posting new data Sunday.

On Wednesday, the county reported 1,302 coronavirus cases and three new deaths.

The county has logged 95,989 cases and 838 deaths. Of cases, 85,010 are confirmed and 10,979 are probable. Recoveries stand at 67,595.

As of Wednesday, 812 people were hospitalized with the virus.

Collin County

The state added 413 coronavirus cases in Collin County on Saturday, bringing the county’s total to 25,566. One new COVID-19 fatality also was reported, bringing the death toll to 252.

No details about the latest victim were available.

According to state data, the county has 3,123 active cases and has logged 22,443 recoveries.

COVID-19 hospitalizations total 267, according to the county’s dashboard.

Denton County

Denton County on Saturday reported 182 coronavirus cases, including 143 that were active.

No new deaths were reported, leaving the death toll at 148.

The newly reported cases bring the county’s overall case total to 23,276, including 5,523 that are active. They also bring total molecular cases to 19,755 and antigen cases to 3,521. Recoveries stand at 17,605.

There were 122 COVID-19 patients hospitalized Saturday, 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: 2,948 cases, 37 deaths.
  • Kaufman County: 4,870 cases, 80 deaths.
  • Ellis County: 6,828 cases, 113 deaths.
  • Johnson County: 5,327 cases, 105 deaths.

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