Rising COVID Cases in Dallas County Lead To School Closures
DALLAS — As of 12:00 pm November 14, 2020, Dallas County Health and Human Services is reporting 1,543 additional positive cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Dallas County, 1,454 confirmed cases and 89 probable cases. There is a cumulative total of 107,741 cases (PCR test), including 1,141 confirmed deaths. There is a cumulative total of 9,685 probable cases (antigen test), including 20 probable deaths. The additional death being reported today is of a man in his 90’s who was a resident of the City of Dallas. He had been critically ill in an area hospital, and had underlying high risk health conditions.
The provisional seven-day average of daily new confirmed and probable cases (by date of test collection) for CDC week 45 has increased to 958, which is a rate of 37.4 daily new cases per 100,000 residents. The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 remains high, with 15.3% of symptomatic patients presenting to area hospitals testing positive in week 45 (week ending 11/7/20). A provisional total of 843 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in school-aged children (5 to 17 years) during CDC week 45, an increase of 37% from the previous week.
Dallas ISD Temporary School Closures
During this past week, ten K-12 schools in Dallas County have initiated temporary closures of their campuses to in-person instruction due to COVID-19 cases. Of all confirmed cases requiring hospitalization to date, more than two-thirds have been under 65 years of age. Diabetes has been an underlying high-risk health condition reported in about a third of all hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Of the total confirmed deaths reported to date, about 24% have been associated with long-term care facilities. New cases are being reported as a daily aggregate, with a more detailed summary report updated Tuesdays and Fridays.
There were 605 COVID-19 patients in acute care in Dallas County for the period ending on Friday, November 13. The number of emergency room visits for COVID-19 like symptoms in Dallas County was 487 for the same time period, which represents around 20 percent of all emergency department visits in the county according to information reported to the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council. We continue to see additional increases and the forecasting from UTSW predicts potential for record high hospitalizations. We must curtail activities like social gatherings, and going to bars and restaurants, to reduce risk of spread. Please follow the public health advice for the high risk level, and stay home. You can find additional information on risk-level monitoring data here.
Additionally, Table 9 below is from the November 13, 2020 Dallas County Health and Human Services 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary. Table 9 is a summary of confirmed and probable cases and deaths over the past 17 weeks in Dallas County.
COVID-19 Cases Rising In School Children
“Today ends an explosive growth week in COVID infections with 1,543 new cases to report today and one death. For the week, we’ve reported the loss of 13 of our residents and we are averaging 1,131 cases per day for the week ending today. As I’ve mentioned before, Dallas County Health and Human Services does the most accurate report based on CDC weeks wherein we slot in each case with the day the test was taken. The downside to this report is that is does lag by at least seven days.
That report shows that for CDC week 45 ending on November 7, 2020, we increased to 958 cases per day, which is a rate of 37.4 daily new cases per 100,000 residents. The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID) remains high, with 15.3% of symptomatic patients presenting to area hospitals testing positive in week 45. A provisional total of 843 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in school-aged children during CDC week 45, an increase of 37% from the previous week.
Not including the week we reported a very large backlog in cases from the state’s reporting system, the numbers that we have seen this week are the highest weekly average that we have seen thus far for new COVID cases and today’s total is the highest single day total that we have seen thus far. What happens in the coming days as we approach Thanksgiving and the days after is dependent on each of you making good choices: telecommute to the fullest extent possible, stop visiting in one another’s homes and avoid crowds during this time of extreme spread.
It’s up to all of us to flatten the curve and I know that your patriotism and community concern will carry the day as we all work together to go back to doing the things that we did successfully in July and August when we got our numbers down. It is hard to fight through the clutter of COVID fatigue, but it is important that all of us do everything that we can to talk to the people in our sphere of influence and encourage our families, our employees, and our friends to join us in doing the things that the CDC and the local doctors tell us will turn this around. We can do this North Texas but we must do it together and we must do it immediately,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
All Dallas County COVID-19 Updates and Information can be found here: https://www.dallascounty.org/covid-19/ and all guidance documents can be found here: https://www.dallascounty.org/covid-19/guidance-health.php