Health officials in Dallas County on Saturday reported more than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 for the 16th straight day and nine more coronavirus-related deaths.

The nine fatalities raise the weekly death toll to 74, which is the county’s deadliest week of the pandemic, up from 54 a week ago, according to Dallas County Health and Human Services.

The victims reported Saturday include:

  • A Dallas man in his 30s who had underlying health conditions and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
  • A Dallas man in his 50s who did not have underlying health conditions and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
  • A Seagoville man in his 60s who was an inmate of a correctional facility. He had underlying health conditions and had been critically ill at an area hospital.
  • A Mesquite man in his 70s who had underlying health conditions and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
  • A Dallas man in his 70s who had underlying health conditions and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
  • A Mesquite woman in her 70s who had underlying health conditions and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
  • A Dallas man in his 70s who had underlying health conditions and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
  • A Dallas man in his 80s who had underlying health conditions and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
  • A Richardson woman in her 90s who did not have underlying health conditions and had been critically ill in an area hospital.

“This is a big wake up call that we cannot go back to normal. There’s going to have to be a new normal,” said Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang.

Huang said that means continuing habits like masking and avoiding places where distancing isn’t possible for a long time to come.

He said the numbers lag, meaning that this week’s record death count is a result of the high cases seen over the last couple of weeks, which he said are still linked to Memorial Day weekend and the state’s reopening.

While the county added 1,031 cases of the novel coronavirus Saturday, Dallas County’s 7-day average dropped to 1,085 — its lowest since July 8. There are now 40,222 cases of COVID-19 in Dallas County.

“This is a big wake up call that we cannot go back to normal. There’s going to have to be a new normal.”

Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang

“This week we saw a drop in our average daily number of new cases by 36, with 1,085 as the daily average this week versus last week’s record of 1,121 average daily cases. Our #COVID19 hospitalizations, ER visits and ICU admissions were near record levels this week as well,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement. “All this is a strong indication that you should wear a mask when outside your home and avoid any business where masks are not being worn 100% of the time.”

Dallas County does not report recoveries from COVID-19 because it lacks the manpower to follow up with thousands of patients, however, the Texas Department of State Health Services posts an estimated number of recoveries on its site and lists 20,552 for Dallas County as of Saturday, July 18. Using data supplied by the county and state, there are an estimated 19,147 active COVID-19 cases in the county.

According to the county health department, 794 people were in acute care for COVID-19 through Friday. Additionally, the number of emergency room visits for COVID-19 like symptoms was 726 in the 24-hour period ending Friday, which is approximately one-third of all ER visits.

There have been 523 deaths attributed in the county to the virus, which, according to Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang, is now the third leading cause of death in the county behind diseases of the heart and cancers.

The increase in cases comes as the state’s positivity rate, the percentage of people testing positive for the virus, has been sustained well over 10% for nearly three weeks and climbed to a new high of 17.43% on Sunday. However, it fell to 16.05% Friday — the first time it has dropped below 16.30% since July 10. An. increase in the positivity rate indicates an increase in the spread of the virus, not an increase in testing for the virus.

County officials said earlier this month an increasing proportion of new cases reported have been young adults between the ages of 18 and 39, including half of all cases reported since June 1.

Of cases requiring hospitalization, two-thirds have been under 65 years of age, and about half do not have high-risk chronic health conditions. Diabetes has been an underlying high-risk health condition reported in about a third of all hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

The county has been reporting for several weeks now that more than a third of the deaths related to COVID-19 have been among residents of long-term care facilities.





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