Dallas County reports 19 coronavirus deaths and 228 cases, lowers threat level to ‘moderate risk’
In Tarrant County, officials reported four COVID-19 deaths Tuesday.
As coronavirus hospitalizations in Dallas County remained at their lowest levels since last spring, Parkland Memorial Hospital closed its COVID-19 intensive care units on Tuesday and the county lowered its threat level for the first time in more than five months.
About two dozen COVID-19 patients still were being treated at the hospital, but the closure of the units dedicated to the disease was a symbolic milestone in the fight against COVID-19 a little more than a year after the pandemic reached North Texas.
On Tuesday, Dallas County reported 19 more COVID-19 deaths and 228 new coronavirus cases.
The latest victims were mostly in their 60s or older. Twelve were men and seven were women, and all but one had underlying high-risk health conditions.
Seven of the victims were Dallas residents, three were from Mesquite, two each were from Garland and Seagoville, and one each lived in Addison, DeSoto, Grand Prairie, Irving and Lancaster.
County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a written statement that, with all Texans 16 and older becoming eligible to be vaccinated starting next week, people should register for vaccinations at as many places as they are willing to go to.
“It has been a tough year, but we are winning,” Jenkins said. “Let us focus on all the things for which we have to be grateful and together we will defeat COVID-19.”
Jenkins said Tuesday evening that the county’s public-health committee had lowered the coronavirus threat level to orange from red, where it had been since mid-October.
In the orange zone, the risk of coronavirus transmission is considered moderate. People in high-risk groups or older than 65 are still urged to avoid in-person activities, and precautions such as mask-wearing and social distancing should be taken when in public.
A number of activities, such as attending entertainment events and going to the movies are still discouraged and should only be considered when physical distancing is possible, according to the county’s guidelines. Shopping trips should still be limited, and getting meals to-go is preferable to dining in restaurants.
Of the new cases, 151 were confirmed and 77 were probable. The numbers bring the county’s overall case total to 288,928, including 251,039 confirmed and 37,889 probable. The death toll is 3,413.
Officials said two of the new cases were the first Dallas County cases of the B.1.429 strain of the coronavirus, a more-contagious variant that emerged in California. There have been 14 cases of the B.1.1.7, or U.K., variant, and one case of the B.1.526, or New York, variant.
Health officials use hospitalizations, intensive care admissions and emergency room visits as key metrics to track the real-time impact of COVID-19 in the county. In the 24-hour period that ended Monday, 193 COVID-19 patients were in acute care in hospitals in the county. During the same period, 287 ER visits were for symptoms of the disease.
According to the state, 527,164 people in Dallas County have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 269,105 — 13.4% of the county’s population 16 and older — are fully vaccinated.
Across the state, 4,595 more cases were reported Tuesday, including 4,269 new cases and 326 older ones recently reported by labs.
The state also reported 80 COVID-19 deaths, raising its toll to 46,558.
Of the new cases, 3,205 were confirmed and 1,064 were probable. Of the older cases, 226 were confirmed and 100 were probable.
The state’s case total is now 2,752,288, including 2,371,653 confirmed and 380,635 probable.
There are 3,498 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals, including 714 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. On Monday, 4.6% of patients in the hospital region covering the Dallas-Fort Worth area were COVID-19 patients — below the 15% threshold the state has used to define high hospitalizations.
The seven-day average positivity rate statewide for molecular tests, based on the date of test specimen collection, was 5.9% as of Monday. For antigen tests, the positivity rate for the same period was 3.2%. A molecular test is considered more accurate and is sometimes also called a PCR test; an antigen test is also called a rapid test. Gov. Greg Abbott has said a positivity rate above 10% is cause for concern.
According to the state, 6,407,978 people in Texas have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 3,215,549 — 14.3% of the state’s population 16 and older — are fully vaccinated.
Tarrant County reported four deaths and 268 cases Tuesday.
The latest victims were three Fort Worth men in their 40s, 70s and 80s, and a White Settlement man in his 70s. Three of the four had underlying high-risk health conditions.
Of the new cases, 186 were confirmed and 82 were probable. The numbers bring the county’s case total to 249,418, including 210,883 confirmed and 38,535 probable. The death toll is 3,226.
According to the county, 218 people are hospitalized with the virus.
According to the state, 395,739 people in Tarrant County have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 197,660 — 12.4% of the county’s population 16 and older — are fully vaccinated.
The Texas Department of State Health Services did not provide an explanation for why the number of fully vaccinated residents was roughly 16,000 lower than what it reported Monday. A similar, but much smaller, discrepancy last week was caused by a provider entering data incorrectly, DSHS said.
The state added two deaths and 183 cases to Collin County’s totals Tuesday.
No details about the latest victims were available.
Of the new cases, 40 were confirmed and 143 were probable. The numbers bring the county’s case total to 85,885, including 71,565 confirmed and 14,320 probable. The death toll is 784.
According to the county, 148 people are hospitalized with the virus.
According to the state, 251,017 people in Collin County have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 129,357 — 16.0% of the county’s population 16 and older — are fully vaccinated.
Denton County reported 129 cases Tuesday. No additional deaths were reported.
The newly reported cases bring the county’s case total to 71,200, including 52,914 confirmed and 18,286 probable. The death toll is 453.
According to the county, 51 people are hospitalized with the virus.
According to the state, 176,322 people in Denton County have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 101,418 — 14.4% of the county’s population 16 and older — are fully vaccinated.
The Texas Department of State Health Services has taken over reporting for these other North Texas counties. In some counties, new data may not be reported every day.
The latest numbers are:
- Rockwall County: 10,969 cases (8,977 confirmed and 1,992 probable), 145 deaths.
- Kaufman County: 15,363 cases (12,962 confirmed and 2,401 probable), 233 deaths.
- Ellis County: 21,691 cases (18,337 confirmed and 3,354 probable), 300 deaths.
- Johnson County: 19,123 cases (16,390 confirmed and 2,733 probable), 353 deaths.