DALLAS - Dallas County reported more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, a stunning number showing a serious outbreak is taking place in one of Texas’ most populous areas.
Health officials reported 1,085 new cases and six deaths. It’s the second day in a row a new record was set for new cases reported in a single day – Thursday there were 708 new cases. This week's average case count was 680, compared to 451 last week.
“We are entering into a very critical time in the fight against COVID-19 and are seeing an explosive surge in community spread,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
There have been 42 COVID-19 deaths so far this week, the deadliest of the pandemic.
The deaths were: a Grand Prairie man in his 60s, an Irving woman in her 60s, a Garland woman in her 60s, a Farmers Branch man in his 70s, an Irving man in his 70s, a Dallas woman in her 90s.
There have been 23,675 COVID-19 cases and 393 deaths in the county since the pandemic began.
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Dallas County Health Director Dr. Philip Huang warns that if July 4th looks like Memorial Day, hospitals will eventually be overloaded.
North Texas hospitalizations hit a record again on Friday, with 1,534. On June 3 the number was 575.
“We cannot have what happened Memorial Day weekend. If we do, it'll be catastrophic down the road. Projections, potentially then, into mid-July can then start to be near that surge capacity at the hospitals that we're concerned about,” Huang said.
Dr. Mark Casanova, president of the Dallas County Medical Society, reinforced the importance of following the mask order, which is now statewide.
“Two to four weeks range from seeing the benefit of that,” Casanova said. “Now what we have to remember is that we've still accumulated a lot of viral transmission, regrettably, in that time frame and there will inevitably be an increasing number of hospitalizations and inevitably deaths.”
Which is why health professionals don't want people celebrating July 4th with others.
“It's not just an issue of large gatherings, like a thousand people at a fireworks show. It can be multiple families getting together in groups of 15 to 20 for innocuous parties,” Casanova said.