More than four in five hospital patients who reported their occupation have been working in essential industries that have remained open during the pandemic, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said June 25. More than half of new cases confirmed since June 1 have been adults under age 40.
“Today’s numbers continue the trend of increasing hospitalizations and new COVID-19 positive cases,” Jenkins said. “Additionally, we are beginning to see more spread amongst children in day care and young people who attend bars or work in the service industries.”
Some of the most common occupations affected by the virus include workers in health care, transportation, food, public infrastructure work, police, fire and several other fields, according to Jenkins’ office.
The rise in hospitalizations has coincided with a steep rise in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases throughout the county in recent weeks.
The number of new cases confirmed in the past seven days was 2,890, nearly 21% higher than the number confirmed during the previous seven-day period and almost double the number from the seven-day period ending June 1.
Although the number of confirmed cases is partly dependent on the number of tests administered, the rise in hospitalizations could represent the “tip of the iceberg” that signifies the virus is becoming more prevalent outside of hospitals as well, Jenkins said.
The county also shed more light on its new contact-tracing program June 25, which will send automated text messages to people who may have been exposed to the virus. This partly automated process will make it easier for human contact tracers to handle the workload, county officials said.
The contact-tracing program is a partnership between the county and the Parkland hospital system, which is providing staff and data assistance toward the effort.