Dallas County reports record 50 coronavirus deaths, 1,356 cases, marking ‘darkest months’ of pandemic

Dallas News

Dallas County reported a record one-day total of 50 deaths Wednesday, as well as 1,356 more cases from COVID-19.

Twenty of the victims were Dallas residents, all ranging from their 40s to 100s. Half of the victims were men and the other half were women.

Of the remaining 30 victims, 18 were men and 12 were women ranging from their 40s to 90s. Five were from Richardson, five from Mesquite, four from Garland, four from Irving, three from Carrollton, two from Duncanville, two from Grand Prairie, and one each from Balch Springs, Coppell, Farmers Branch, Lancaster and Rowlett.

Nineteen were residents of long-term care facilities, and all but five victims had underlying health conditions.

County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a written statement that the deaths were a mark of the “darkest months for deaths” and urged the county to forgo gatherings for the upcoming Super Bowl weekend. He also encouraged residents to register for the vaccine in “as many places as we’re willing to drive to” if they are in the 1B population.

“As we have said, these will be our darkest months for deaths thus far,” Jenkins said. “If we lose our resolve, and stop doing the things that we’re doing to keep ourselves and our community strong, then the battle will prolong and we run the risk of not reaching herd immunity before new strains set us back for a long time.”

Of the new cases, 1,016 were confirmed and 340 were probable.

The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 262,738, including 231,411 confirmed cases and 231,411 probable cases. The death toll stands at 2,320.

Health officials use hospitalizations, intensive-care admissions and emergency room visits as key metrics to track the real-time impact of COVID-19 in the county. In the 24-hour period that ended Tuesday, 932 COVID-19 patients were in acute care in hospitals in the county. During the same period, 540 ER visits were for symptoms of the disease.

According to the state’s data, 151,425 people in Dallas County have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 38,139 are fully vaccinated.

Texas

Across the state, 17,620 more cases were reported Wednesday, including 16,943 new cases and 677 older cases that were recently reported by labs.

The state also reported 418 COVID-19 deaths, raising its toll to 37,288.

Of the new cases, 13,181 were confirmed and 3,762 were probable. Of the older cases, 389 were confirmed and 288 were probable.

The newly reported cases bring the state’s total to 2,433,110, including 2,120,299 confirmed cases and 312,811 probable cases.

There are 10,827 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals, including 3,017 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. On Tuesday, 18.12% of patients in the hospital region covering the Dallas-Fort Worth area were COVID-19 patients — above the 15% threshold the state has used to define high hospitalizations.

The seven-day average positivity rate statewide for molecular tests, based on the date of test specimen collection, was 13.41% as of Tuesday. For antigen tests, the positivity rate for the same period was 7.42%. A molecular test is considered more accurate and is sometimes also called a PCR test; an antigen test is also called a rapid test. Gov. Greg Abbott has said a positivity rate above 10% is cause for concern.

According to the state’s data, 2,041,378 people in Texas have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 561,411 are fully vaccinated.

Tarrant County

Tarrant County reported 1,625 coronavirus cases and 14 deaths Wednesday.

The latest victims include five people from Fort Worth: a man in his 30s, a woman in her 50s, a man in his 60s and a man and woman in their 80s.

Three people were Arlington residents, including a man in his 60s, a man in his 70s and a woman in her 80s.

The remaining seven victims were a Grand Prairie man in his 60s, a Haltom City woman in her 60s, a Watauga woman in her 70s, a Lake Worth woman in her 70s, a Mansfield man in his 70s, and a Colleyville woman who exceeded 90.

All but two had underlying health conditions.

Of the new cases, 1,311 were confirmed and 314 were probable.

The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 223,736, including 191,367 confirmed cases and 32,369 probable cases. The death toll stands at 2,291.

According to the county, 1,050 people are hospitalized with the virus as of Wednesday.

According to the state’s data, 115,849 people in Tarrant County have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 25,423 are fully vaccinated.

Collin County

The state added 808 coronavirus cases and 10 deaths to Collin County’s totals Wednesday.

No details about the latest victims were available.

Of the new cases, 670 were confirmed and 138 were probable.

The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 75,051, including 64,154 confirmed cases and 10,897 probable cases. The death toll stands at 599.

According to the county, 436 people are hospitalized with the virus.

According to the state’s data, 55,820 people in Collin County have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 16,151 are fully vaccinated.

Denton County

Denton County on Wednesday reported its first known case of the new, more contagious coronavirus variant from the United Kingdom. It’s the fifth known case in North Texas.

The new strain, known as B.1.1.7, was confirmed in someone from unincorporated northeast Denton County who hadn’t traveled recently, according to the county. No further details were offered about the patient.

Denton County Judge Andy Eads urged residents to continue practicing proper safety measures even as vaccine distribution ramps up. 

“We know these practices work, even as different variants of the COVID-19 virus circulate around the globe,” Eads said in a written statement. “All individuals, with or without a vaccine, should continue following these basic steps to protect the health and safety of everyone.”

The variant is believed to have originated in the United Kingdom and has been reported to be more contagious than previous strains, though it doesn’t necessarily cause more severe COVID-19 symptoms, Denton County health officials said.

The county’s public health director Dr. Matt Richardson pleaded with residents not to let their guards down as the pandemic continues.  

“The UK B.1.1.7 variant test result here in Denton County underscores what we already know: COVID-19 remains an ongoing pandemic and Denton County has continuing risk,” Richardson said in a written statement. 

Current approved COVID-19 vaccines are believed to be effective against the B.1.1.7 variant.

The county also reported 621 new coronavirus cases Wednesday. 

The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 55,363, including 43,501 confirmed cases and 11,862 probable cases. The death toll stands at 325.

According to the county, 171 people are hospitalized with the virus.

According to the state’s data, 30,702 people in Denton County have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 9,648 are fully vaccinated.

Other counties

The Texas Department of State Health Services has taken over reporting for these other North Texas counties. In some counties, new data may not be reported every day.

The latest numbers are:

Rockwall County: 9,599 cases (7,973 confirmed and 1,626 probable), 103 deaths.Kaufman County: 13,401 cases (11,624 confirmed and 1,777 probable), 185 deaths.Ellis County: 19,104 cases (16,717 confirmed and 2,387probable), 242 deaths.Johnson County: 16,940 cases (14,879 confirmed and 2,061 probable), 270 deaths.


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