After Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins warned for several days that the number of new COVID-19 cases could approach 2,000 per day by Thanksgiving, the county reported 1,976 new cases of the virus Friday along with 15 more deaths.
Over the seven days, Dallas County has added 9,123 new COVID-19 cases, the apparent beginning of the trend portended by the judge should steps not be taken to curtail the spread of the virus.
"Today Dallas County sets another new record for COVID positive cases," said Jenkins. "For the week thus far, we've reported 40 deaths, which medical modelers predicted as the cases began to rise several weeks earlier. When those same modelers predicted over 2,000 daily cases by Thanksgiving, many people jeered at their predictions saying they were alarmist and false. It is important to remember that the local medical modelers have been right thus far throughout the pandemic."
Jenkins went on to say that without modification to behavior to stop people from getting together the number of cases and deaths will likely continue to climb.
County officials said the latest 15 victims included people whose ages ranged from their 40s to 90s and lived in Dallas, Cedar Hill, Irving, Grand Prairie and Balch Springs. According to the county's daily statement, all of the victims had been hospitalized and most had underlying health conditions.
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Of the cases reported Friday, the county said 1,646 were confirmed cases and 328 were probable (antigen test) cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the county from March to 115,410 and the number of probable (antigen test) cases to 10,731.
County officials said Friday there have been 1,177 confirmed deaths in the county attributed to the virus and another 24 probable deaths. In the summer, Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang said COVID-19 is the third leading cause of death in the county behind diseases of the heart and cancers.
Overnight Thursday there were 707 patients with COVID-19 in Dallas County hospitals, according to the county's statement Friday. Jenkins warned previously that hospitalizations are expected to continue to rise rapidly within both the county and region and that hospitals are concerned about the spread and strain on their staff.
The county added that the provisional 7-day average for new confirmed and probable cases by date of a test collection for CDC week 45 has increased to 1,078, which is a rate of 40.9 daily new cases per 100,000 residents. During the same week, a provisional total of 919 confirmed and probable cases were diagnosed in school children between the ages of 5 and 17 -- a three-fold increase from five weeks earlier.
"While the choice is yours on how you conduct yourself, it is not fair to say that the risk you take is yours and yours alone as the impact of increased exposure for individuals has an impact on others," Jenkins said Monday.