Dallas County COVID-19 Cases Near 3,000 Mark

Dallas County health officials reported 75 additional cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the county since the pandemic began to 2,909.

Four additional deaths were also reported, including two residents (a man in his 80s and a woman in her 90s) of Dallas long-term care facilities. A Carrollton man in his 70s and a Garland man in his 60s are also among the 81 total deaths.

“Today is the last day of the week, and each day this week had a lower number of positive cases than the average daily total from the week before,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. “We started mobile testing in LTCF through Parkland Hospital on Thursday and will increase mobile testing in those facilities on Monday in order to find asymptomatic positive cases faster and better isolate the virus to protect the residents and staff.”

In the county’s April 24 aggregate report, most cases continue to be between the ages of 18 and 60, with the 18-40 age group accounting for 35% of the cases, and the 41-64 age group accounting for 45% of the total cases.

There were 1,475 men who were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus (or roughly 54%) and 1,263 women.

Close contact or community transmission continues to be the biggest risk factor for contracting COVID-19,  accounting for roughly 80% of all cases. Living in a long-term care facility, being incarcerated, and domestic travel are a distant second, third, and fourth, at 7.3%, 4.7%, and 4.4%, respectively. Last week, cases contracted in jail accounted for 2.1% of cases but is now the third leading risk factor.

Twenty-five hospitals in the area have reported their hospital bed availability to Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson’s office. As of Friday evening, 3,199 of the total 5,711 hospital beds were occupied, and 505 of the total 827 critical care beds were in use. Of the 942 ventilators available, 286 were in use.

Twenty-four percent of all cases end up hospitalized – 31% end up in critical care, and 18% end up on a ventilator.

About 40% of the total 81 deaths have been associated with long-term care facilities. Only 22% of those deaths were people younger than 65.

In a city-by-city breakdown, Dallas still comes in with the highest number of cases – 1,595, or 56.3%. Highland Park has 15 cases so far, and University Park has 24.

The county does not count recoveries because it’s not a variable being used nationally by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nor by state health departments. However, one can extrapolate that the 76% of total cases that have not been hospitalized – at the very least – are on their way to recovery or have recovered, county officials explained recently.

“The exact number of patients who have been released from area hospitals to continue their recovery at home is not available at this time,” Lauren Trimble, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins’ chief of staff, said.

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at [email protected].

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