DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As local and drive-up testing for COVID-19 gets in full swing across North Texas the confirmed number of patients suffering from the virus continues to rise.
On March 27 officials with Dallas County Health and Human Services said there are 64 additional people in the county who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The new patients bring the total number of cases in Dallas County to 367. As of Friday morning DCHHS officials said seven people had died and hospitalizations for COVID-19 were increasing — with 36% of all patients hospitalized with the illness requiring ICU admission.
Despite the growing numbers, shelter in place orders and business and employee challenges, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins is optimistic. “I’m so proud of the way North Texas is stepping up to this challenge. We will get through this together. #StayHomeStaySafe,” he said.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, which can include fever and cough but also milder cases of pneumonia, sometimes requiring hospitalization. The risk of death is greater for older adults and people with other health problems.
Jenkins said doctors and nurses from the National Guard were being called to help with the pandemic and that a 250 bed hospital is expected to soon open to deal with the positive cases.
“We’re asking for logistical support, you will see military vans moving around,” Jenkins said during a Thursday evening news conference.
As of Friday afternoon, the Texas Department of State Health Services was reporting more than 23,000 coronavirus tests performed in the state, with 1,731 positive results.
It hasn’t been a week since the City of Dallas issued shelter-in-place rules and further decreased the number of people allowed to congregate for social gatherings.
In addition to simply staying at home, city officials recommend that everyone continue to take preventive actions to stop the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases by:
- Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-base hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash