DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins is asking the Commissioner’s Court to consider an order requiring masks at businesses in Dallas County.

He announced it in a release sent out reporting 392 additional positive cases of the coronavirus and five additional deaths from the disease in the county.

“This is the second highest number of new COVID-19 cases ever reported, second only to yesterday,” said Jenkins. “I’m asking the Commissioner’s Court to consider an order requiring masks at businesses here in Dallas County. Recent medical studies and the reports coming from them tell us that masks are the single most important tool we have to stop the spread and surge in cases and infections that we are seeing and keep our economy moving.”

The new cases bring the total case count in Dallas County to 15,648, including 307 deaths.

The ages of the five people who most recently died range from 50 – 90-years-old.

“Today we’re seeing our highest hospitalizations for COVID-19 ever reported in Dallas County at 423 and the number of hospitalizations across the Metroplex area has shot up more than 200 to now being 923. This number is the one to watch most closely as this represents the tip of the iceberg that you can see and gives an indication to the amount of COVID-19 cases spreading in the community that you are yet to see,” said Jenkins.

Of cases requiring hospitalization who reported employment, more than 80% were 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.

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

The age-adjusted rates of confirmed COVID-19 cases in non-hospitalized patients have been highest among Hispanics (667.4 per 100,000), Asians (187.4 per 100,000) and Blacks (136.4 per 100,000). These rates have been higher than Whites (43.8 per 100,000).

More than 60% of overall COVID-19 cases to date are Hispanic. Of the 307 total deaths reported to date, more than a third were associated with long-term care facilities.

Currently health professionals are seeing cases in a hospital or acute care setting remain around 400 — well above the previous sustained plateau of 300-350 hospitalizations.

Additionally, the percentage of emergency room visits for COVID-19 like symptoms in Dallas County for a 24-hour period ending Wednesday, June 17th, remained high at 586 visits, representing over 27% of all visits according to information reported to the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council.

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