By CBSDFW.com Staff

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County Health and Human Services reported five new cases of the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 on Wednesday, March 3, bringing the county total to nine.

Of the five newly reported cases two are Dallas residents, two from Garland and one from Sachse.

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The variant is more contagious than the original strain of COVID-19.

DCHHS also reported 718 additional positive cases of COVID and 26 more deaths.

Of the new cases, 317 are confirmed and 401 are probable cases.

There is a cumulative total of 246,627 confirmed cases (PCR test).

There is a cumulative total of 35,772 probable cases (antigen test).

A total of 3,044 Dallas County residents have lost their lives due to COVID-19 illness.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

“Today we report an additional 26 deaths from COVID-19 and 718 cases, five of which are the B.1.1.7 variant, the 70 percent more contagious strain that originated from the United Kingdom.

Today, we began vaccinations with 2,000 of our first doses that the State sent to Dallas County this week at The Theatre at Grand Prairie. This is a collaboration with the City of Irving and the City of Grand Prairie. Those shots are going to people from the Dallas County Health and Human Services registration list who are outside of the zip codes targeted by the FEMA/White House/Pfizer program. Unfortunately, the state has diverted roughly 59,000 shots that would go to communities outside of those 17 Dallas County zip codes over the last two weeks, and until this changes, there are just not enough shots to get coverage for all on our list.

You should continue to register with Dallas County and also register anywhere you’re willing to drive. We are seeing a great disparity between Dallas and Tarrant County and many other areas of the state. For instance in Dallas County and Tarrant County, only 14 percent of our population has received the first shot, but nearly 25 percent of the Lubbock County population has received a first shot. I will continue to ask the state to allot vaccine to Dallas County, hospitals, providers, and municipalities for an amount that is representative of our 9.1 percent population of the state of Texas.

The Governor’s announcement from Lubbock County yesterday, made on Texas Independence Day, should not distract us from the mounting bills we will all be receiving from the power grid collapse. We all have to hold the Governor and the Legislature responsible to their promises to weatherize and modernize our power grid and make whole those Texans who have seen exorbitant costs.

The Governor made an announcement yesterday to do away with the statewide mask mandate. This announcement is not in keeping with what local doctors and hospitals recommend to keep us safe and get our community to herd immunity as quickly as possible. Most businesses will continue to require masks in their establishments and residents should listen to doctors, the facts, and the science regarding masking, distancing, hand-washing and avoiding crowds to give them themselves, their family, their community, and our country our best chance of staying strong until the vaccine can be given in sufficient numbers for us to reach herd immunity. We’re all in this together and we will defeat COVID-19 this year, but it requires all of us making smart decisions and looking out for one another.”

The additional deaths reported Wednesday include the following:

– A man in his 50’s who was a resident of the City of Garland. He had been critically ill in an area hospital and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A man in his 60’s who was a resident of the City of Garland. He expired in hospice and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A man in his 60’s who was a resident of the City of Irving. He 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 the City of Irving. She had been critically ill in an area hospital and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A man in his 60’s who was a resident of the City of Irving. He had been critically ill in an area hospital and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A man in his 60’s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in the City of Desoto. He expired in a facility and had underlying high risk health conditions.

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– A man in his 70’s who was a resident of the City of Garland. 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 Dallas. She expired in a hospital ED and had underlying high risk health conditions.

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

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

– A woman in her 70’s who was a resident of the City of Dallas. She had been hospitalized 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 Dallas. He expired in the facility and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A man in his 70’s who was a resident of the City of Garland. 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 Grand Prairie. He had been hospitalized and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A woman in her 80’s who was a resident of the City of Garland. She had been hospitalized and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A woman in her 80’s who was a resident of the City of Garland. He had been hospitalized and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A woman in her 80’s who was a resident of the City of Grand Prairie. She 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 Grand Prairie. He had been hospitalized and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A man in his 90’s who was a resident of the City of Dallas. He expired in hospice care and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A woman in her 90’s who was a resident of the City of Garland. She had been hospitalized 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 expired in the facility and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A man in his 90’s who was a resident of the City of Garland. He had been critically ill in an area hospital and had underlying high risk health conditions.

– A woman in her 90’s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in the City of Garland. She expired in hospice and had underlying high risk health conditions.

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– A man in his 90’s who was a resident of the City of Garland. He had been hospitalized and had underlying high risk health conditions.

CBSDFW.com Staff