Dallas County reports 10 more COVID-19 deaths, 249 new cases

Dallas County reported 10 new COVID-19 deaths on Friday, along with 249 more cases of the coronavirus.

This brings the county’s totals to 135 deaths and 5,346 cases.

The youngest of the 10 new deaths was a Duncanville man in his 40s, and the oldest was a Garland man in his 90s.

Most of the new deaths were in hospitals or long-term care facilities.

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Officials have said to expect higher case numbers as the number of people being tested has increased, and instead focus on hospitalizations and ventilator stats, which continues to remain steady.

Dallas County doesn't report the number of recoveries, but state health officials report more than 19,000 people have recovered from the coronavirus here in Texas.

RELATED: Interactive map of Texas COVID-19 cases

With more signs of normalcy returning to Texas, there are also stark reminders of the virus' toll that shook that sense of normalcy in the first place.

Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang has suggested late April or early May as a potential peak, which we could be in the middle of.

“We are still seeing significant numbers of new cases, numbers of deaths, and we have quite a few people in the hospital,” he said. “This is still consistent with that in some ways. But what the modelers and everyone have been saying is our peak may not be this real big spike. But it may just be this plateau.”

After rising from an average of 145 new cases daily last week to 247 new cases daily so far this week, cases have leveled off to a degree and are mostly hovering around 250.

Dallas County says there's been no significant increase in testing that would skew numbers higher, although it hasn't been able to share complete numbers from private labs.

Another measure shows percentages of hospital bed, ICU beds and ventilators in use slightly higher in the city of Dallas.

Dr. Diana Cervantes teaches at the UNT Health Science Center. She was a top public health official at the state during the Ebola crisis.

“I think originally the idea was to have a good 14-day decrease,” she said. “We're not seeing that.”

Cervantes says although we are not seeing a decrease in Dallas County, the important thing now is that there's no spikes that cause a jolt to the healthcare system.

“I think we've gotten to the point where we need to switch,” she said. “We need to sort of change and switch gears because we know that the openings are happening, and there's no point of saying, ‘Should we re-open? Is this too soon?’ It's happened. We need to just say how are we going to look at this data to make sure we're not missing anything that's going to be a huge increase.”

Dallas County officials have been working on a system that will rate the COVID-19 threat in the county. The plan hasn't been rolled out yet, but it could be soon.