DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County Health and Human Services reported 1,382 additional positive cases of COVID-19 in Dallas County on Thursday, Dec. 17.

Of those, 976 are confirmed cases and 406 are probable cases.

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The county also announced 10 more deaths.

There is a cumulative total of 150,509 cases (PCR test), including 1,413 deaths since the pandemic began.

“As the holidays approach, now is the time to remember the adage ‘an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure’,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins in a statement. “Thinking ahead on your holiday needs, whether it’s groceries or gifts, and ordering those online now so they’ll arrive on time, or ordering them for curbside pick-up, will lead to less crowds and less spread.”

Despite the high number of new cases each day, Judge Jenkins said now that the vaccine is here, it’s clear better days are ahead.

“There is a light at the end of the tunnel with vaccinations happening and thousands of our healthcare heroes have received their vaccination,” he said. “By the end of this month, we expect hundreds of thousands of North TX healthcare heroes & nursing home residents to have received their first shot but that great news shouldn’t be taken as an excuse to disregard doctors’ advice to wear a mask, avoid crowds, & forgo get-togethers.”

The provisional seven-day average of daily new confirmed and probable cases (by date of test collection) for CDC week 49 was to 1,647, which is a rate of 62.5 daily new cases per 100,000 residents—the highest case rate in Dallas County since the beginning of the pandemic.

The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 remains high, with 21.6% of symptomatic patients presenting to area hospitals testing positive in week 49 (week ending 12/5/20).

Over the past 30 days, there have been 4,520 COVID-19 cases in school-aged children and staff reported from 735 separate K-12 schools in Dallas County, including 681 staff members.

Of these cases, 534 have been associated with extracurricular activities, including athletics.

There are currently 93 active long-term care facility outbreaks.

Over the past 30 days, a total of 848 COVID-19 cases have been reported from these facilities, including 317 staff members.

Of these cases 32 have been hospitalized, and 33 have died, including 2 deaths of staff members.

Twenty-six outbreaks of COVID-19 in congregate-living facilities (e.g. homeless shelters, group homes, and halfway homes) have been reported in the past 30 days associated with 165 cases, including 6 hospitalizations.

One facility has reported 89 COVID-19 outbreak cases since October.

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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 22% have been associated with long-term care facilities.

The additional deaths reported Thursday include the following:

– A woman in her 60’s who was a resident of the City of Dallas. She had been critically ill in an area hospital, and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A woman in her 60’s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in the City of Dallas. She died in hospice and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A woman in her 70’s who was a resident of the Desoto. She was critically ill in an area hospital, and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A man in his 70’s who was a resident of the City of Dallas. He had been critically ill in an area hospital, and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A man in his 70’s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in the City of Mesquite. He had been critically ill in an area hospital, and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A woman in her 70’s who was a resident of the City of Balch Springs. She had been hospitalized, and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A man in his 80’s who was a resident of the City of Dallas. He had been critically ill in an area hospital, and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A man in his 80’s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in the City of Dallas. He had been critically ill in an area hospital, and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A man in his 80’s who was a resident of the City of Dallas. He had been critically ill in an area hospital, and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A man in his 90’s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in the City of Dallas. He had been critically ill in an area hospital, and had underlying high risk health conditions.

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