Dallas County reports 750 more COVID-19 cases, 1 death as county reaches highest daily average since July

Updated 5:50 p.m.: Revised to include data from Texas Department of State Health Services dashboard.

Dallas County reported 750 more coronavirus cases Sunday, including 746 the county considers new, and four from the previous month. One new COVID-19 death was also reported.

The latest fatality was a Dallas woman in her 60s who had been critically ill at a hospital and had underlying health problems.

Labs either report coronavirus cases directly to the county health department or to the state health department, which then relays the information to individual counties. Of cases reported Sunday, Dallas County health officials said 363 came from the state’s reporting system, including four from September and 359 from October. The remaining 387 cases were reported directly to the county health department.

Doctors look at a lung CT image at a hospital in Xiaogan,China.

Of the new cases reported Sunday, 704 are confirmed cases and 46 are probable cases. The newly reported cases bring the county’s total confirmed cases to 97,398 and probable cases to 5,994. The county has recorded 1,117 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 15 probable deaths.

A spokeswoman recently said the county was counting only positive antigen tests (sometimes called rapid tests) as probable cases, though a few antibody and “household” results had been included previously.

Although other North Texas counties provide estimates for how many people have recovered from the virus, Dallas County officials do not report recoveries, saying it’s not a measurement used by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The county reported that between Oct. 18 and Oct. 24, 587 school-age children tested positive for COVID-19 — more than twice the number of children diagnosed a month ago.

More than two-thirds of all confirmed cases requiring hospitalization so far have been in people under 65, and diabetes has been an underlying condition in about a third of all hospitalized patients, according to the county.

The county’s provisional seven-day average of daily new confirmed and probable cases for the latest reporting period, Oct. 18 to Oct. 24, was 652, the highest daily average since July. The figure is calculated by the date of the COVID-19 test collection, according to the county.

Dallas County doesn’t provide a positivity rate for all COVID-19 tests conducted in the area; county health officials have said they don’t have an accurate count of how many tests are conducted each day. But as of the county’s most recent reporting period, 15.4% of people who showed up at hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms tested positive for the virus. That’s an increase from the previous reporting period, when 14.2% of such patients tested positive.

Of the county’s total confirmed COVID-19 deaths, about 24% are associated with long-term care facilities.

Dr. Pedro Salcido, of Urgent Home MD, conducts a COVID-19 drive-thru test in a downtown parking lot on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, in Dallas. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News)

Statewide data

Across the state, 4,111 more cases and 53 COVID-19 deaths were reported Sunday. Texas has now reported 904,855 confirmed cases and 18,077 fatalities.

There are 5,691 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals, including 1,530 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The seven-day average positivity rate statewide, based on the date of test specimen collection, was 9.8% as of Friday. State health officials said using data based on when people were tested provides the most accurate positivity rate.

The state also provides a positivity rate based on when lab results were reported to the state; that rate stood at 10.4% as of Friday.

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 8.5%, according to its dashboard.

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

Doctors look at a lung CT image at a hospital in Xiaogan,China.

Tarrant County

Tarrant County reported 749 coronavirus cases and one new death Sunday.

The latest victim was an Arlington man in his 50s who had underlying health problems, officials said.

The newly reported cases bring the county’s total to 68,233, including 61,436 confirmed cases, 6,797 probable cases and 53,782 recoveries. The death toll stands at 739.

According to Sunday’s numbers on the county dashboard, 474 people are hospitalized with the virus.

Collin County

Collin County added 113 coronavirus cases Sunday, bringing its total to 18,748. The number of deaths stands at 186.

The county has 1,368 active cases of the virus — including 177 people who are hospitalized, according to the county dashboard — and has recorded 17,380 recoveries.

Collin County, which receives its data from the Department of State Health Services since turning over case management in June, has a note on its dashboard warning residents that it has low confidence in the numbers the state is providing.

Denton County

Denton County officials have said they will no longer report new coronavirus data on Sundays.

As of Saturday, the county had reported 16,978 cases, including 3,031 that were active and 13,809 that were recoveries. The death toll stood at 138.

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: 1,988 cases, 33 deaths.
  • Kaufman County: 3,629 cases, 59 deaths.
  • Ellis County: 5,043 cases, 83 deaths.
  • Johnson County: 3,821 cases, 67 deaths.

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