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COVID-19 Hospitalizations, ER Visits Going the ‘Wrong Direction,' Dallas County Judge Jenkins Says

NBC Dallas logo NBC Dallas 10/23/2020
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The Dallas County Health Department says hospitalizations and ER visits related to COVID-19 are headed in the wrong direction. On Friday, the county department also announced another 612 cases of the virus along with four more related deaths.

"Today's number continues a trend upward in COVID-19 positive cases and we're seeing our hospitalizations and emergency room visits trending in the wrong direction as well," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a prepared statement Friday. "At this point, you know what you need to do, you just need to do it."

According to data from the state health department, hospitalizations in Texas are up again Friday to more than 5,000.

Of the 612 cases reported, 533 were confirmed and 79 were probable, according to Dallas County Health and Human Services. DCHHS said 293 of the cases came from the DSHS backlog and that all but two cases, from September, were from earlier this month.

The additional four deaths being reported Friday include the following:

  • A man in his 50s who was a resident of the City of Dallas. He had been critically ill in the hospital and had underlying high-risk health conditions.
  • A man in his 60s who was a resident of the City of Dallas. He had been critically ill in the hospital and had underlying high-risk health conditions.
  • A man in his 80s who was a resident of the City of Seagoville. He had been hospitalized and had underlying high-risk health conditions.
  • A woman in her 80s who was a resident of the City of Dallas. She had been critically ill in the hospital and had underlying high-risk health conditions.

The county has now accumulated 92,197 confirmed cases of the virus since testing began in March. The county said there have been 1,097 confirmed deaths attributed in the county to the virus, which, according to Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang, is now the third leading cause of death in the county behind diseases of the heart and cancers.

Are Trick-or-Treating and Voting Dangerous?

Last week, Jenkins advised North Texans to avoid trick-or-treating this year, and other similar events, and called them a possible super-spreader activity.

"As we approach the Halloween holiday with cases increasing, it’s important that families make responsible decisions to do things within the family unit and not come into contact with many people outside their home. Doctors strongly encourage all residents to forgo trick or treating, trunk or treating, and Halloween parties and instead focus on candy hunts, Halloween themed family parties or movie nights, pumpkin carving and other things that can be done with the people that you live with. We must get this under control now or we are in for a rough holiday season and winter when the weather forces more people indoors which increases the chance of COVID-19 spread. We can do this North Texas but it’s up to each and every one of us. You’ve brought the numbers down twice before and you can do it again,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins said earlier this week that voting in person in Dallas County is safe and that the county has spent millions of dollars on disinfectants, plexiglass screens and other precautions to ensure that voters are safe. Voters can also see a live, color-coded map showing the approximate wait times at polling locations in Dallas County so that they can see which polls are least crowded and where voting can be done quickly. See the map here.

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