It may seem hard to believe, but it was only a year ago on New Year’s Eve in 2019 when the Hubei Daily News shared the news that the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission reported 27 cases of pneumonia of unknown cause, with seven in serious condition.
The novel coronavirus began spreading in Dallas in March of this year.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Dallas County’s reported a cumulative total of 170,747 confirmed cases and 20,797 probable cases, and 1,611 county residents have died because of the virus.
Dallas County Wednesday reported 2,292 additional COVID-19 cases – 1,965 confirmed and 327 probable – and an additional 15 deaths.
The additional deaths reported Wednesday include a Dallas man in his 20s who died in an area emergency room, an Irving woman in her 40s who died in a hospital emergency room, three Dallas women in their 50s, two of whom had underlying conditions, a Mesquite man in his 50s who didn’t have underlying conditions, a Mesquite man in his 60s, a Garland man in his 60s, a Mesquite woman in her 70s, a Dallas woman in her 70s, a Cedar Hill woman in her 70s, a Dallas man in his 70s, a Dallas woman in her 90s. Unless otherwise noted, they had underlying conditions.
Also among the deaths reported Wednesday were a woman in her 70s who lived at a Mesquite long-term care facility, and a man in his 90s who died at the Dallas long-term care facility where he lived.
“We’re now at an all-time high for the average of new daily cases as we head into another holiday weekend. If you haven’t already, please rethink your New Year’s plans and celebrate with only those in your immediate household and avoid high-risk locations like bars or restaurants,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. “Our hospitals are stretched, at or near capacity, and our healthcare heroes need you to do your part to help our community by following the public health guidance. We have limited ICU bed availability, only 16 adult ICU beds, for a county of 2.7 million residents, and these beds are not solely for COVID patients, but other acute illness, traumas, and acute surgery recovery.”
The county reported there were 989 COVID-19 patients in hospitals in Dallas County Tuesday and there were 659 emergency room visits for COVID-19 like symptoms Tuesday, which represents around 23 percent of all emergency department visits in the county according to information reported to the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council.
The county also reported 102 active long-term care facility outbreaks, the highest amount since the beginning of the pandemic.
This year, a total of 2,954 residents and 1,687 healthcare workers in long-term facilities in Dallas have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Of these, 665 have been hospitalized and 352 have died. About 22% of all deaths reported to date have been associated with long-term care facilities.
Additionally, there are 42 outbreaks in congregate-living facilities like homeless shelters, group homes, and halfway homes reported in the past 30 days associated with 115 cases. One facility has reported 93 COVID-19 cases since October.
Also, over the past 30 days, there have been 5,971 COVID-19 cases in school-aged children and staff reported from 756 separate K-12 schools in Dallas County, including 569 staff members. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 21 school nurses have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Of all confirmed cases requiring hospitalization to date, more than two-thirds have been under 65 years of age.