Tracking COVID-19: Vaccination totals rise as confirmed cases fall in Dallas County

See how COVID-19 impacted Dallas County over the last week. (Community Impact staff)
See how COVID-19 impacted Dallas County over the last week. (Community Impact staff)

See how COVID-19 impacted Dallas County over the last week. (Community Impact staff)

Editor’s note: This is the latest information reported by Dallas County, Richardson ISD and Plano ISD through their public dashboards.

Nearly 41% of Dallas County residents age 12 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of May 27, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. In Collin County, that number sits at nearly 51%.

The DSHS COVID-19 vaccination dashboard shows a combined estimate of nearly 1.7 million people in the two counties have received at least one dose from vaccination sites and clinics, while more than 1.3 million are reported as being fully vaccinated. DSHS estimates show there are close to 1.5 million residents age 16 and older in Collin and Dallas counties, although vaccine appointments are not limited to county residents.

Nearly 22 million doses have been administered across Texas and nearly 13 million people have been fully vaccinated since manufacturers began shipping vials to the state in December, according to the DSHS dashboard.

In Dallas County, new cases of the virus totaled 160 on May 27. The seven-day average now sits at 143, which is a rate of 5.4 new daily cases per 100,000 residents, according to a county news release. The seven-day average at this time last week was 186, which is a rate of 7.1 new daily cases per 100,000 residents.

“Remember that if you are unvaccinated, the risk of COVID-19 remains high and you should continue to wash your hands, wear a mask, avoid crowds and maintain six-foot distancing,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement. “For vaccinated people, the risk is now considered low, and you can return to your pre-COVID-19 activities without fear of serious complications or death.”

There have been 260,440 cases and 4,051 deaths in Dallas County since officials began data collection in March 2020. About 20% of deaths countywide have been associated with long-term care facilities.

Gov. Greg Abbott lifted state mask requirements March 10 and said all businesses are allowed to operate at full capacity.

Since early January, when COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations peaked across the state, numbers have greatly declined. According to data from DSHS, there were 1,899 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals as of May 27, down from 2,492 on May 12.

As of May 26, just 2.4% of the hospital beds in Trauma Service Area E were occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients, according to the DSHS dashboard.

Over the past 30 days, 893 cases among students and staff have been reported across 318 K-12 schools in the county, the release states. During the months of April and May, 20% of all COVID-19 cases diagnosed in Dallas County were in children under the age of 18 years old, according to the news release. It states that is the highest proportion in that age group since the beginning of the pandemic.

According to the state’s public school dashboard, new student cases decreased by nearly 35% statewide between the third and fourth weeks of May. During the week ending May 23, 825 additional cases were reported, which was a drop from the 1,266 cases reported at the end of the week prior. Cases among staff also decreased during the same time span, according to the dashboard.

In Richardson ISD, 1,829 students and 746 employees have been diagnosed since Aug. 19, according to the district’s dashboard, which launched in early September. In Plano ISD, 2,034 students and 838 employees have been diagnosed and have since recovered, according to PISD's dashboard, which began reporting data Aug. 12 and was last updated May 27.

Both dashboards show all confirmed coronavirus cases districtwide, including those reported in students learning from home. They also include a breakdown of cases by building. Of cases confirmed in RISD, 14 students and one employee still had the virus as of May 28. In PISD, seven student cases and one employee cases were still active as of May 27.

Dallas County residents can register for the COVID-19 vaccine with Dallas County Health and Human Services here. Collin County Health Care Services allows people to register for an appointment here. According to a city of Richardson spokesperson, the city is not involved in vaccine distribution.

As of March 29, all Texas adults are eligible to receive a vaccine for COVID-19. On May 10, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to those ages 12-15. COVID-19 vaccinations had previously been available only to those age 16 and older.

“With the improving numbers, there is a false sense of security among many unvaccinated people that is leading to hundreds of people in North Texas today fighting COVID-19 in our hospitals,” Jenkins said in his May 27 statement. “For those over age 12 to avoid the heartache of a serious case of COVID-19 or the loss of a loved one to COVID-19, doctors encourage vaccination as soon as possible. For those who choose not to be vaccinated, doctors encourage precautions to be taken just as we did before vaccination was available.”

Dallas County Health and Human Services reported more than 473,000 vaccinations have been administered at the Fair Park mega vaccine clinic since the site began operations Jan. 11.

Collin County announced in August that it would no longer report city-specific information. The city of Richardson does not regularly report its own case numbers; however, Dallas County’s COVID-19 analytics dashboard shows there have been nearly 7,700 confirmed coronavirus cases in that county’s portion of Richardson.
By William C. Wadsack

Editor, Plano

William joined Community Impact Newspaper in December 2019. He previously served as managing editor of several daily and weekly publications in North Texas and his native state of Louisiana.