One in Four Hospitalized in County Have COVID-19

Dallas County health officials reported an additional 1,129 cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, with 882 confirmed cases and 247 probable cases.

The county also reported 16 new deaths, including an 18-year-old Garland teen who had underlying chronic medical conditions.

Also among the dead are a Dallas man in his 30s, two Dallas men in their 40s, a Mesquite woman in her 50s, a Dallas woman in her 50s, a Dallas man in his 60s, a Garland woman in her 60s with no underlying high-risk health conditions, a Carrollton man in his 60s, a Richardson man in his 70s, two Dallas men in their 70s, a Hutchins man in his 70s, a Dallas woman in her 70s, a Dallas man in his 80s, and a Dallas woman in her 80s with no underlying high-risk conditions. Unless otherwise indicated, the deceased had underlying high risk medical conditions.

The provisional seven-day average of new cases for the week ending Dec. 12 was 1,722, or 65.3 new cases per 100,000 residents per day. The rate of positive tests at area hospitals was 23.3%.

Since March, more than 3,864 healthcare workers and first responders have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Dallas County.

Over the past 30 days, there have been 5,971 COVID-19 cases in school-aged children and staff reported from 756 separate K-12 schools in Dallas County, including 569 staff members.  Since the beginning of the pandemic, 21 school nurses have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Long-term care facilities continue to be hit hard by the pandemic, with 102 outbreaks currently – the highest number of facilities with active outbreaks in the county since March. There have been 42 outbreaks in congregate living facilities like homeless shelters and group homes in the past month, with 115 cases. One facility has reported 93 cases since October.

There are currently 102 active long-term care facility outbreaks. This is the highest number of long-term care facilities with active outbreaks reported in Dallas County since the beginning of the pandemic.  This year, a total of 2,954 residents and 1,687 healthcare workers in long-term facilities in Dallas have been diagnosed with COVID-19.  Of these, 665 have been hospitalized and 352 have died. About 22% of all deaths reported to date have been associated with long-term care facilities. Forty-two outbreaks of COVID-19 in congregate-living facilities (e.g. homeless shelters, group homes, and halfway homes) have been reported in the past 30 days associated with 115 cases.  One facility has reported 93 COVID-19 outbreak cases since October.

The county said that the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations Monday was 1,018 patients. Emergency room visits for COVID-19 symptoms represented about 25% of all ER visits, according to information reported to the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council

“Today we add an additional 1,129 cases and 16 deaths, ranging in ages from a teenager to individuals in their 80’s,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. “Our hospital numbers are at all-time highs and our availability of ICU beds in the region is at an all-time low.

“Currently, one in four persons hospitalized in Dallas County has COVID and approximately 30 percent of those hospitalized in the region have COVID,” he added. “With the UT Southwestern projections indicating that our numbers of COVID hospitalizations will rise dramatically by Jan. 5, it is imperative that all of us make the small, smart sacrifices to keep ourselves and our community as healthy as possible in this time of high spread.”

In a city-by-city breakdown, Dallas continues to have the most probable and confirmed cases at 10,366 and 83,074, respectively. Highland Park has 313 confirmed cases and 103 probable cases, and University Park has 856 confirmed and 616 probable, as of Dec. 29.

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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