COVID-19 cases and deaths are up in Dallas County again, but that hasn’t stopped voters from heading to the polls and setting new records. Here are today’s bullet points:
- Dallas County reports 26 COVID-19 deaths over the weekend;
- Dallas County continues to break early voting records;
- Abbott celebrates Texas’ business ranking.
Dallas County Reports 26 COVID-19 Deaths Over Weekend
A total of 1,615 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus were reported by Dallas County health officials between Friday and Sunday, and an additional 104 probable cases were reported, along with 26 deaths.
On Friday, the county reported 480 cases (462 confirmed and 18 probable) and 20 confirmed deaths; on Saturday, 647 cases (599 confirmed and 48 probable) and three confirmed deaths; and on Sunday, 592 cases (554 confirmed and 38 probable) and three deaths.
The county reported Sunday that a Garland woman in her 30s died on an interstate airline flight, and had underlying high-risk health conditions.
Also among the dead are a Carrollton man in his 20s found dead at his home, a Garland man in his 30s who died at a hospital emergency room, a Dallas woman in her 40s, an Irving man in his 40s who died at a local emergency room, a Grand Prairie man in his 40s, a Glenn Heights woman in her 50s, two Dallas men in their 50s – one with high-risk health conditions and the other without, a Mesquite man in his 60s who died at a hospital ER, a Seagoville man in his 60s, a Dallas man in his 70s with no underlying high-risk conditions, three Dallas women in their 70s, three Dallas men in their 70s – two with high-risk health conditions and the other without; a DeSoto woman in her 70s, a Dallas man in his 80s, a Rowlett man in his 80s with no underlying high risk conditions, an Irving man in his 80s with no underlying high risk conditions, and a Garland man in his 90s with no underlying high risk conditions. All had high-risk conditions unless otherwise noted.
Long-term care facilities continue to amount to about a third of all deaths in the county, including a man in his 70s who died in a Dallas facility, a man in his 80s who resided in a Dallas facility, and a woman in her 80s who died in a Dallas facility.
“Sadly we report 20 deaths today, including a person in their 20s and a person in their 40s,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. “One of the deaths of a person in their 50s was of a person with no underlying high-risk health conditions. We are unfortunately at a place where the numbers are moving against us and that movement is accelerating. It’s up to all of us to exercise personal responsibility.
“At this point, we know what to do, we just need to do it and do it immediately: wearing our masks, six-foot distance, frequent hand washing and avoiding large crowds. This is not a time to relax as COVID-19 cases increase. It’s a time to renew our efforts at public health and wise decision making.”
The county said that the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations Friday was 370 patients. Emergency room visits for COVID-19 symptoms represented about 18% of all ER visits, according to information reported to the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council.
UT Southwestern’s latest forecast projects that by Oct. 27, Dallas County hospitals could see concurrent hospitalizations rise to between 370 and 680 cases, with roughly 1,250 new cases per day on average.
According to trackers provided by Dallas ISD and Highland Park ISD, cases of COVID-19 are cropping up at schools. On Friday, Dallas ISD’s COVID-19 dashboard indicated that there were now 278 cases throughout the district – 112 among campus staff, 20 among central staff, and 146 among students.
For comparison, the district reported 126 cases the Friday before, and 42 the Friday before that. Of the 126, 53 were campus staff, five were central staff, and 68 were students.
Walnut Hill Elementary has 13 cases (up from seven), Thomas Jefferson High School has 10 (up from four), Sudie Williams Talented and Gifted has one case, W.T. White High School has five (up from one), Pershing Elementary has one case, Marsh Middle School has one, Benjamin Franklin Middle School has two (up from one), and Hillcrest High School has four cases.
Highland Park ISD is reporting two staff cases and seven student cases. So far 10 staffers and 59 students have been cleared to return to class.
Neither district provides information on how many students and staff have quarantined for 14 days due to classroom exposure to the virus.
Dallas County reported Saturday that a provisional total of 390 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in school-aged children (5 to 17 years) during CDC week 41 – the week ending Oct. 10, an increase of 32% from the previous week.
In the county’s Oct. 16 aggregate report, the county broke down probable cases for children ages 5 to 17 by city. Dallas children in this age group with confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 numbered at 186 for the week ending Oct. 10, 125 for the week ending Oct. 3, and 96 for the week ending Sept. 26. Highland Park children numbered one for the week ending Oct. 10, two for the week ending Oct. 3, and three for the week ending Sept. 26. University Park children numbered four for the week ending Oct. 10, seven for the week ending Oct. 3, and five for the week ending Sept. 26.
For the week ending Oct. 13, the state Texas Education Agency reported that 9.719 students tested positive for COVID-19, and 6,454 staff members, compared to the week before with 7,620 students and 5,227 staff members.
Case counts will be updated on the dashboard each Wednesday. Private schools are not included in the counts or reports. Out of privacy concerns, districts with fewer than 50 students are not included in the district-level reports, but their counts will be added to the statewide tally.
Dallas County reported in its Oct. 16 aggregate report that most confirmed cases continue to be between the ages of 18 and 60, with the 18-40 age group accounting for 47% of the cases, and the 41-64 age group accounting for another 34% of the total cases.
Close contact or community transmission continues to be the biggest risk factor for contracting COVID-19, accounting for more than 94% of all cases.
Of the testing done, positive cases accounted for 12.6% as of Oct. 10, with 803 positives coming from 803 tests. Testing for the week prior found that positive cases accounted for 10.1% of all testing.
Ten percent of all cases ended up hospitalized – 24% 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 – 46,073 confirmed cases and 2,241 probable cases. Highland Park has 110 confirmed cases (up from 104 last week) and another 41 probable cases, and University Park has 303 confirmed cases (up from 280), and 263 probable cases.
Dallas County Continues to Break Early Voting Records
Abbott Celebrates Texas’ Business Ranking
Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement after a new survey of U.S. corporate executives ranked Texas the number one state for business for the eighth consecutive time since 1996. The survey was released at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Annual Conference, which is being held from Dallas virtually.
“Thanks to our talented workforce, welcoming business climate, and state-of-the-art infrastructure, Texas has been named the best state in the nation for business for the eighth consecutive time since 1996,” said Abbott. “I want to congratulate the Texas Economic Development Corporation on their well-earned recognition as one of the premier economic development marketing organizations in the nation.
“ As we safely and strategically mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Texas will continue to expand economic opportunity for all Texans and build a more prosperous future for the Lone Star State.”
Conducted by Development Counsellors International (DCI) every three years, the “Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing” survey has tracked trends in economic development since its inception in 1996. The 2020 “Winning Strategies” survey is based on the aggregate responses of 316 corporate executives with site selection responsibilities.
This is the state’s eighth consecutive win. Texas earned the number one spot this year by a wide margin, with 48% of survey respondents favoring the state’s business climate compared to second place Georgia’s 25% favorability.
“We are honored to once again rank as the No. 1 State for Business among corporate executives,” said Robert Allen, president and CEO of TxEDC. “Texas has been recognized as the top state for business thanks to the leadership of Governor Greg Abbott and the incredible team of economic developers working every day in communities across the state to let businesses know that they can Go Big in Texas.”
In addition to recognizing Texas’ overall business climate, 36% of respondents named the state as having one of the most favorable tax climates, 20% cited Texas’ overall pro-business environment and 17% specified its access to talent.
In addition to Texas, rounding out the top five states for business are Georgia at number 2 with 25%, followed by North Carolina at number 3 with 22%, Florida at number 4 with 18%, and Tennessee at number 5 with 13%.