Cases Are Up, But Most Come From State System

A total of 1,282 new cases of the novel coronavirus were reported by Dallas County health officials between Friday and Sunday, and an additional nine deaths, bringing the county’s total case count up to 77,889 including 995 confirmed deaths

For reference, last Sunday, the total case count was 75,052, and 973 deaths.

On Friday, the county reported 355 confirmed cases and four confirmed deaths (with 101 coming from the state’s reporting system and 26 from previous months); on Saturday, 156 confirmed cases and four confirmed deaths (with four coming from the state reporting system and one coming from older months); and on Sunday, 771 confirmed cases and one death (with 572 coming from the state system and 306 from previous months).

Among the dead are two Grand Prairie men in their 60s (one with high-risk health conditions, one without), a Grand Prairie woman in her 60s, Sunnyvale man in his 50s, a Dallas man in his 60s, an Irving woman in her 60s with no underlying high-risk health conditions, a Duncanville man in his 60s, a Grand Prairie woman in her 70s, and a Garland man in his 80s. Unless noted, all had underlying high-risk health conditions.

The county said that the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations Friday was 324 patients. Emergency room visits for COVID-19 symptoms represented about 15% of all ER visits, according to information reported to the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council.

“For the CDC week ending September 12, we saw another decrease. Daily averages decreased to 240 average cases per day down from 279 for the previous week and 308 for the week before,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Saturday. “It’s important to remember that these are provisional numbers. As cases come in and are allotted by test dates to their CDC week, the numbers change some regularly, but it is enough to see that there is a positive trend of cases going down. Also, our positivity rate, which remains high at 10%, is down from 10.8% in the previous week.”

UT Southwestern’s latest forecast projects that by Sept. 29, Dallas County hospitals could see concurrent hospitalizations rise to between 270 and 510 cases, with roughly 670 new cases per day on average. The new modeling does take into account the return to school campuses.

In the county’s Sept. 18 aggregate report, most confirmed cases continue to be between the ages of 18 and 60, with the 18-40 age group accounting for 46% of the cases, and the 41-64 age group accounting for another 34% of the total cases.

The percentage of cases occurring in young adults aged 18 to 22 years has increased to 14% in September to date. A provisional total of 156 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in school-aged children (5 to 17 years) during CDC week 37, an increase from the previous week for this age group.

Close contact or community transmission continues to be the biggest risk factor for contracting COVID-19, accounting for almost 94% of all cases. Living in a long-term care facility, being incarcerated in federal prison, or being incarcerated in the county jail accounted for 1.9%, 1.8%, and 0.9%, respectively.

Of the testing done, positive cases accounted for 10% as of Sept. 12, with 506 positives coming from 5,080 tests. Testing for the week prior found that positive cases accounted for 10.8% of all testing.

Ten percent of all cases ended up hospitalized – 23% ended up in intensive care, and 13% ended up on a ventilator.

In a city-by-city breakdown, Dallas still comes in with the highest number of cases – 40,385 confirmed cases and 1,932 probable cases. Highland Park has 79 confirmed cases (up from 77 last week) and another 32 probable cases, and University Park has 188 confirmed cases (up from 171), and 201 probable cases.

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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