Dallas County Reports Record Increases In Hospitalizations, New COVID-19 Cases

As Dallas County reports record increases in hospitalizations and new COVID-19 cases and local officials work to respond to the pandemic, there’s a lot of information to keep up with. Here are today’s bullet points:

  • Dallas County reports record increases in hospitalizations, new COVID-19 cases;
  • Poll: Texans wary of quick return to pre-COVID-19 activities;
  • Allred hosting COVID-19 telephone town hall;
  • Pollo Campero donates lunches to Parkland Hospital for National Fried Chicken Day.
Dallas County Reports Record Increases In Hospitalizations, New COVID-19 Cases

Dallas County Health and Human Services Monday reported record increases in both new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

The county reported 1,214 additional positive cases of COVID-19 Monday, bringing the total case count in Dallas County to 27,054, as well as an additional six deaths.

The additional deaths include a 40-something-year-old DeSoto man, a 50-something-year-old Dallas woman, a 60-something-year-old Grand Prairie man, a 70-something-year-old Dallas man, an 80-something-year-old Dallas woman. Each had been hospitalized, and three had underlying, high-risk health conditions. Additionally, a 100-something-year-old woman died in the Dallas long-term care facility where she lived.

Of the 401 total deaths reported to date, about a third have been associated with long-term care facilities. 

Of the cases requiring hospitalization to date, more than two-thirds have been under 65 years of age, and about half do not have any high-risk chronic health conditions. Diabetes has been an underlying high-risk health condition reported in about a third of all hospitalized patients with COVID-19. 

Of cases requiring hospitalization who reported employment, over 80% have been critical infrastructure workers, with a broad range of affected occupational sectors, including: healthcare, transportation, food and agriculture, public works, finance, communications, clergy, first responders and other essential functions. 

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson shared Monday that 25 hospitals reported bed and ventilator capacity statistics. Of 6,106 total beds, 64% were occupied, of 968 total ICU beds, 69% were occupied, and of 960 ventilators, 341 (36%) were in use.

The county also reported the percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for COVID-19 increased to 33.7% among symptomatic patients in area hospitals in week 26.  

An increasing proportion of COVID-19 cases in Dallas County continues to be diagnosed in young adults between 18 and 39 years of age, such that of all cases reported after June 1, half have been in this age group.

Increasing reports of cases are also continuing to be associated with multiple large recreational and social gatherings since the beginning of June, including house parties. 

“Today we’ve seen our biggest jump ever in hospitalizations, both in the region and in the county. We saw 105 more hospitalizations than yesterday, a 16% increase in one day alone. We also reached a new milestone in the number of new COVID -19 cases but it’s the hospitalizations number that we must watch closely. Think of hospitalizations as the sickest of the sick, the part of the iceberg above the water. In order for the numbers to increase dramatically with hospitalizations, the amount of the iceberg underneath the water must grow exponentially. This is what is happening in the community where we are seeing rampant spread,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

Jenkins also sent another letter to Gov. Greg Abbott, in which he writes that he and health experts recommend limiting gatherings of more than 10 people, closing bowling alleys, arcades, amusement parks, venues for large events like concerts, sporting events, and weddings, in-restaurant dining, movie theaters, gyms, group youth sports, public pools, day camps and day care centers for non-essential workers, and other activities that can’t enforce physical distancing or where masks can’t be worn 100% of the time, as well as avoiding in-person attendance at faith-based services.

“I made my peace early on to follow the science and our public health experts. I recommend that you do the same and enact these requirements statewide or regionally. If not, please rescind your prior order restricting local control and allow Dallas County to implement the above recommendations in an effort to slow the spread of the rampant and devastating COVID-19 virus,” Jenkins wrote in the letter.

UT Southwestern reports COVID-19-related  hospitalizations in the DFW area increased by 34% compared to a week ago and 174% compared to a month ago and projects that, if current growth rates persist, Dallas and Tarrant County could see 50% increases in hospitalizations by July 16.

In Dallas County, hospitalizations have increased by 145% compared to a month ago and 28% compared to a week ago, UT Southwestern reports.

Statewide, 200,557 cases were reported from 2,163,729 tests in 247 counties as of July 5. Additionally, 2,655 deaths have been reported across the state.

Poll: Texans Wary of Quick Return To Pre-COVID-19 Activities

A June University of Texas//Texas Politics Project poll found most (57%) Texas registered voters would characterize the new coronavirus as “a significant crisis,” while 29% say it’s “a serious problem, but not a crisis.”

The poll also found 51% of voters say efforts to deal with the new coronavirus are going badly in the U.S. and 46% of voters say efforts to deal with the new coronavirus are going well.

The survey also found just 21% of respondents thought the virus is already contained or will be within the next few weeks. Most think it will be contained within the next year (29%) or within a year or more (26%).

Sixty five percent of voters indicated in the survey that they wouldn’t feel safe sending their child to school now, 51% wouldn’t feel safe eating at a restaurant, 59% wouldn’t feel safe attending church, 70% wouldn’t feel safe attending an outdoor event, 73% wouldn’t feel safe flying on a plane, 71% wouldn’t feel safe going to a gym, 73% wouldn’t feel safe going to a movie theater, and 77% wouldn’t feel safe going to a bar or club. 

The poll also found 81% reported wearing masks outside their household.

The University of Texas/Texas Politics Project survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted from June 19-29 and has an overall margin of error of +/- 2.83 percentage points.

Allred Hosting COVID-19 Telephone Town Hall

U.S. Rep. Colin Allred is hosting another telephone town hall regarding COVID-19 response with local health experts at 6:30 p.m. July 8 at allred.house.gov/live

For COVID-19 information and resources on federal assistance as it relates to the pandemic,  visit allred.house.gov/coronavirus or call Allred’s Richardson office at 972-972-7949 with any questions.

Pollo Campero Donates Lunches To Parkland Hospital For National Fried Chicken Day
Pollo Campero donated 80 meals to the COVID unit at Parkland Hospital. Courtesy photo

Lastly, as usual, we end today’s digest with a bit of good news. The local Pollo Campero location donated 80 meals to the COVID unit at Parkland Hospital in celebration of National Fried Chicken Day Monday.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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