DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins upped the COVID-19 risk level in the county on Wednesday.
The risk level went from orange for “Extreme Caution” to red for “Stay Home Stay Safe.”
“Today we see another high number of new COVID-19 cases with the numbers today being 454 confirmed cases and 50 probable cases for a total of 504 additional cases. The increase in hospitalizations, and new COVID-19 positive cases, as well as other metrics like the R-naught factor being above 1 for several weeks, has led the Public Health Committee to recommend a return to ‘Red’ on our color-coded chart. With a new and quickly escalating wave of COVID-19 cases hitting North Texas, it is more important than ever that we make good decisions,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins in a statement. “Things that doctors recommend as safe and permissible in ‘Orange,’ they recommend against in ‘Red.’ These things include dining in restaurants and personal grooming services, among other activities.”
Dallas County Health and Human Services reported 454 new positive cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total confirmed cases in Dallas County to 87,835.
The county also confirmed one more death Monday of a Dallas woman in her 80s, bringing the total number of deaths in Dallas County to 1,058.
There are 50 additional probable cases to report today for a total of 4,424 probable cases including 13 probable deaths.
Of the 454 new confirmed cases reported Wednesday, 258 came through the Texas Department of State Health Services’ electronic laboratory reporting system, and 11 are from September.
Judge Jenkins said early voting is not impacted by the “Stay Home Stay Safe” recommendation.
“We’ve already had two elections, a primary and a runoff election during COVID-19, both of which took place under a ‘Red’ (Stay Home Stay Safe) recommendation from the Public Health Committee,” said Judge Jenkins. “There has been no known spread from voting or cases attributed back to polling places and this we believe is due to the extraordinary measures everyone is taking to keep you safe at the polls. Your fellow voters are wearing their masks and the County has spent millions of dollars on disinfectants, plexiglass screens and other precautions to ensure that voters are safe.”
Dallas County residents can click here to see a color-coded map that shows which polls are least crowded and where voting can be done quickly and also download a sample ballot too.”
The provisional 7-day average daily new confirmed and probable cases (by date of test collection) for CDC week 40 was 374, an increase from the previous daily average of 346 for CDC week 39.
The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 remains high with 10.0% of symptomatic patients presenting to area hospitals testing positive in week 40 (week ending 10/3/20).
A provisional total of 283 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in school-aged children (5 to 17 years) during CDC week 40, an increase from the previous week in this age group.
Of all confirmed cases requiring hospitalization to date, more than two-thirds have been under 65 years of age.
Diabetes has been an underlying high-risk health condition reported in about a third of all hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
Of the total confirmed deaths reported to date, about 24% have been associated with long-term care facilities.
“The color-coded chart from the Public Health Committee is intended not to tell you what is legal, but rather what is safe,” said Judge Jenkins. “I encourage businesses and individuals to look at the color-coded chart to determine what activities are recommended by doctors who specialize in the fields of infectious disease, public health and epidemiology.”