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Dallas County reports record 1,974 coronavirus cases, 15 deaths

Dallas County reported 1,974 new coronavirus cases Friday, surpassing the record number it announced just a day earlier by more than 100. Fifteen new COVID-19 deaths were also reported.

The latest victims included 10 Dallas residents: a man in his 50s, three men in their 60s, two men in their 70s, a woman in her 80s and two men and a woman in their 90s.

The other victims were two Irving women in their 50s and 70s, a Balch Springs man in his 70s, a Cedar Hill man in his 40s and a Grand Prairie man in his 50s.

County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a written statement that medical modelers had predicted an increase in coronavirus deaths — Dallas County has reported 40 so far this week.

“When those same medical modelers predicted over 2,000 daily cases by Thanksgiving, many people jeered at their predictions saying they were alarmist and false,” he said. “It is important to remember that the local medical modelers have been right thus far throughout the pandemic.”

Without people changing their behaviors and taking better precautions to prevent spreading the virus, the numbers will continue to rise, Jenkins said.

Of the new cases reported Friday, 1,646 are confirmed and 328 are probable. The newly reported cases bring the county’s total confirmed cases to 115,410 and probable cases to 10,731. The county has recorded 1,177 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 24 probable deaths.

The county recently announced it is counting only positive antigen tests (sometimes called rapid tests) as probable cases; a few antibody and “household” results were included previously.

While other North Texas counties provide estimates for how many people have recovered from the virus, Dallas County officials do not report recoveries, noting that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not use that metric.

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 Thursday, 707 COVID-19 patients were in acute care in hospitals in the county. During the same period, 503 ER visits were for symptoms of the disease.

Statewide data

Across the state, 11,738 more cases and 183 COVID-19 deaths were reported Friday. Texas has now reported more than 1 million confirmed cases and 20,296 fatalities.

There are 8,164 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals, including 2,276 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Statewide hospitalizations are at their highest point since early August.

The seven-day average positivity rate statewide, based on the date of test specimen collection, was 12.1% as of Thursday. State health officials said using data based on when people were tested provides the most accurate positivity rate.

Gov. Greg Abbott has said a positivity rate above 10% is cause for concern.

The state also provides a positivity rate based on when lab results were reported to the state; that rate stood at 12.8% as of Thursday.

Officials previously calculated Texas’ coronavirus positivity rate by dividing the most recent seven days of new positive test results by the most recent seven days of total new test results. By that measure, the positivity rate is now 10.0%, according to the state dashboard.

A spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services said that positivity rate data based on lab results and new cases will likely be phased out but is still being provided for transparency and continuity purposes.

Tarrant County

Tarrant County reported 1,412 coronavirus cases and four new deaths Friday.

The latest victims were three Fort Worth men, one in his 70s and two in their 80s, and a Bedford man in his 80s. All four had underlying health conditions.

The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 88,948, including 78,909 confirmed cases, 10,039 probable cases and 64,738 recoveries. The death toll stands at 822.

According to Friday’s numbers on the county dashboard, 782 people are hospitalized with the virus.

Sheriff Bill Waybourn tested positive for the virus Saturday and has been quarantining since then, a spokeswoman said Friday. He has had mild symptoms, the spokeswoman said.

Collin County

The state added 32 coronavirus cases to Collin County’s total Friday, bringing the tally to 22,369. Five new COVID-19 fatalities also were reported, bringing the county’s death toll to 234.

No details about the latest victims were available.

According to state data, the county has 2,127 active cases of the virus.

The county’s coronavirus dashboard provides only total hospitalizations, now at 300.

Denton County

Denton County reported 405 coronavirus cases — of which 272 are active — on Friday, a record for new cases on a day without a large backlog of cases.

No new deaths were reported, leaving the county’s toll at 146.

The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 21,144, including 4,496 that are active and 16,502 that are recoveries.

The newly reported cases raised the county’s total molecular cases to 18,141, while antigen cases stand at 3,003.

There are 125 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, according to the county’s data — the most at any point during the pandemic.

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: 2,511 cases, 35 deaths.
  • Kaufman County: 4,286 cases, 74 deaths.
  • Ellis County: 6,070 cases, 104 deaths.
  • Johnson County: 4,788 cases, 91 deaths.
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