New Cases of COVID-19 Climb Over Weekend

As protests, marches, and rallies continue to occur, and the county deals with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there can be a lot of news to miss. These are today’s bullet points:

  • New cases of COVID-19 climb over the weekend;
  • Community Police Oversight Coalition needs volunteers;
  • HPHS senior organizes Black Lives Matter rally today.

New Cases of COVID-19 Climb Over Weekend

A total of 850 new cases of the novel coronavirus were reported by Dallas County health officials between Friday and Sunday, and an additional 14 deaths, bringing the county’s total cases up to 12,093, including 264 total deaths.

Sunday’s new cases meant an average of 261 cases a day last week, the county’s highest daily average of new cases. If new cases continue apace, the county will breach 14,000 cases by next Monday.

The county reported 298 new cases and 10 deaths on Friday, 289 new cases and two deaths on Saturday, and 263 new cases and two deaths on Sunday.

“Today’s numbers continue a trend of a significant increase in the number of new cases and deaths from the week before; however, the hospitalizations, ICU admissions for COVID-19 and ER visits for COVID-19 still remain flat,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Friday. “It is more important than ever that you avoid large crowds and keep 6 feet apart when you are outside of your home.”

Among the dead this weekend was an Irving man in his 20s with no underlying high-risk conditions. A Dallas woman in her 20s with underlying conditions also died, as did a Farmers Branch man in his 50s, a Dallas woman in her 60s, a Carrollton man in his 70s, and a Dallas man in his 90s.

“Today’s numbers continue a trend we’ve seen the last few days as far as the number of new cases, and today’s person in their 20s, with no underlying health conditions, is a reminder that COVID-19 can affect all people,” said Jenkins.

Eight of the deceased were residents of long-term care facilities, which account for more than a third of the 264 deaths. Those include a man in his 70s who lived at an Irving facility, a man in his 80s who lived in a Dallas facility, and a man in his 80s who lived in an Irving facility. All of those individuals died at area hospitals.

A woman in her 80s at a Dallas facility, three women in their 90s in Dallas facilities, and one woman in her 100s in a Dallas facility died at their respective long-term care facilities as well.

Of cases requiring hospitalization, more than 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 also said that there has been a “sustained daily census” of about 300 COVID-19 patients in county hospitals over the last two weeks, and a sustained number of people coming to emergency rooms with possible symptoms.

In his evening newsletter, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said that 25 hospitals reported their bed availability Sunday. Of the 6,000 total beds, 68% were occupied. Of the 925 ICU beds available, 64% were occupied. There were 969 ventilators available, with 325 in use.

Of cases requiring hospitalization who reported employment, about 84% have been critical infrastructure workers including those in healthcare (14%), transportation (13%), food and agriculture – which includes grocery stores and places you can buy food (16%), public works (12%), finance (4%), communications (2%), teachers, real estate, and clergy (5%), and first responders (2%).

In the county’s June 5 aggregate report, most cases continue to be between the ages of 18 and 60, with the 18-40 age group accounting for 40% of the cases, and the 41-64 age group accounting for another 40% of the total cases.

Close contact or community transmission continues to be the biggest risk factor for contracting COVID-19,  accounting for roughly 86% of all cases. Living in a long-term care facility, being incarcerated in the county jail, and working in a meat or food processing plant are a distant second, third, and fourth, at 4.9%, 3.6%, and 2.6%, respectively.

Of the testing done, positive cases accounted for 10.9% as of June 5, with 419 positives coming from 3,851 tests. This number remains somewhat flat (although there is a bit of a lag, so the June 5 number could go up by the next time we report aggregate numbers). Testing and positive test results of COVID-19 far outpaces any other respiratory virus – even if you combine them all.

Fifteen percent of all cases ended up hospitalized – 30% ended up in intensive care, and 17% ended up on a ventilator.

In a city-by-city breakdown, Dallas still comes in with the highest number of cases – 6,383, or 55.3%. Highland Park has 19 cases so far, and University Park has 29.

Community Police Oversight Coalition Seeks Volunteers

The Dallas Community Police Oversight Coalition and the city’s new Office of Community Police Oversight needs local legal minds for a social-distancing friendly volunteer effort to interview witnesses and complainants in regards to police misconduct.

Lawyers, law students, paralegals and others in the legal profession are needed to help the citizen-run coalition, which has the power and responsibility to investigate claims of police misconduct.

To volunteer, go to tinyurl.com/CPOlegal.

HPHS Senior Organizes Black Lives Matter Rally Today

Rising Highland Park High School senior Dharmashree Kikkeri has organized a Black Lives Matter rally today from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Barbara Hitzelberger Park, located at the corner of Lovers Lane and Hillcrest.

It’s the third such peaceful rally in a week for the Park Cities, and Dr. A.L. Smith, founder of of I Am Power Inc., will speak.

“Being from the Park Cities, we have immense privileges and it is our duty to use voices in the pursuit of justice,” Kikkeri wrote regarding the event. “This is for Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, and countless, countless others.”

Kikkeri said that she has been in touch with city officials and made sure the proper steps were taken to hold the event and asks that everyone also remember to bring a mask, so as to also help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For more details, click here.

 

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, deputy 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 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 doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at bethany.erickson@peoplenewspapers.com.

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