Updated at 5:20 p.m.: Revised to include statewide numbers.
Dallas County on Wednesday reported 2,427 more coronavirus cases, all of them considered new, as well as record high hospitalizations for the third straight day. Seventeen new COVID-19 deaths also were reported.
The latest victims included 14 Dallas residents, including six men who had all been hospitalized and had underlying health problems: one in his 50s, two in their 60s, two in their 70s and one in his 80s.
Also among the victims reported Wednesday were eight Dallas women, including five who lived at long-term care facilities. Two of the women living in long-term care facilities were in their 80s and three were in their 90s, and three of the five had underlying health problems.
The remaining Dallas victims were two women in their 60s and one in her 70s. All three had been hospitalized and had underlying health problems.
Also reported Wednesday was the death of a Cedar Hill woman in her 60s who lived at a long-term care facility, a Garland woman in her 70s who died in an emergency department and a Grand Prairie man in his 80s. They each had underlying health problems.
Dallas County officials warned that based on models projecting spread of the virus, hospital capacity and staffing may become overwhelmed. The state also recorded a record high number of hospitalizations Wednesday, after breaking its record a day earlier.
“With the high spread we’re seeing in the community, January and February will be our worst months for both hospitalizations and new COVID cases,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a written statement. “It is more important than ever that we follow the doctors’ advice to wear our masks, frequently wash our hands and avoid crowds and get-togethers.”
Of the new cases reported Wednesday, 1,817 are confirmed and 610 are probable. The newly reported cases bring the county’s total confirmed cases to 183,974 and probable cases to 22,828. The county’s death toll stands at 1,715.
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 Tuesday, 1,145 COVID-19 patients were in acute care in hospitals in the county. During the same period, 651 ER visits were for symptoms of the disease.
The county reported that over the past 30 days, 5,309 school-age children and staff tested positive for COVID-19 across 677 separate K-12 schools.
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 a 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 Dec. 20-26 reporting period was 1,637. 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, 27.2% 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 26.5% such patients tested positive.
Of the county’s total confirmed COVID-19 deaths, about 22% are associated with long-term care facilities.
Across the state, 23,630 more cases and 326 COVID-19 deaths were reported Wednesday. Texas has now reported 1,867,163 total cases and 28,545 fatalities.
Of the new cases, 19,535 were confirmed and 4,095 were probable. The state has reported 1,646,382 confirmed cases and 220,781 probable cases.
The state also added 279 older confirmed cases and 101 older probable cases that were recently reported by labs.
There are 13,628 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals — a record high — including 4,045 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The seven-day average positivity rate statewide for molecular tests, based on the date of test specimen collection, was 20.2% as of Wednesday. State health officials said using data based on when people were tested provides the most accurate positivity rate.
For antigen tests, the positivity rate for the same period was 15.1%.
Tarrant County reported 3,410 coronavirus cases and 12 new deaths Wednesday.
The latest victims included three Arlington residents: two men, one in his 60s and one in his 90s, and a woman in her 80s. Three Fort Worth women also died, including two women in their 80s and one in her 90s.
The remaining victims were a Mansfield man in his 80s, a Bedford man in his 80s, a North Richland Hills woman in her 80s, a woman in her 80s who lived in unincorporated Tarrant County, a Hurst woman in her 90s and a Euless man in his 90s.
County officials said one COVID-19 death previously recorded in Colleyville has since been identified as an Arlington resident. One death recorded in Hurst was later discovered to be an out-of-county resident.
The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 165,288, including 144,103 confirmed cases, 21,185 probable cases and 118,933 recoveries. The death toll stands at 1,561.
According to Wednesday’s numbers on the county dashboard, 1,489 people are hospitalized with the virus.
The state added 1,036 coronavirus cases and six new COVID-19 fatalities to Collin County’s totals Wednesday. The county has now posted 53,731 cases and a death toll of 388.
No details about the latest victims were available.
Of the new cases, 771 were confirmed and 265 were probable. Collin County has recorded 47,851 confirmed cases and 5,880 probable cases. According to state data, the county has 5,387 active cases and has recorded 42,464 recoveries.
The county’s coronavirus dashboard provides only total hospitalizations, now at 546.
Denton County reported 647 coronavirus cases — of which 621 are active — and six new deaths Wednesday.
The latest deaths include three Lewisville residents: a man in his 60s, a man in his 70s and a woman over 80. The other victims were a woman in her 70s who lived in unincorporated Denton County, as well as a Dallas woman and Flower Mound woman, both over 80.
The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 41,409, including 13,046 that are active and 28,139 that are recoveries. They also raise total molecular cases to 33,870 and antigen cases to 7,539.
The county’s death toll stands at 224.
There are 216 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, the county reports.
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: 7,159 cases (6,026 confirmed and 1,133 probable), 58 deaths.
- Kaufman County: 10,121 cases (8,868 confirmed and 1,253 probable), 131 deaths.
- Ellis County: 14,355 cases (12,669 confirmed and 1,686 probable), 179 deaths.
- Johnson County: 12,165 cases (10,828 confirmed and 1,337 probable), 170 deaths.
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