A day after announcing Dallas County had reached 80% herd immunity against COVID-19, the county reported its second highest number of new cases for one day since mid-May.
New cases of the virus totaled 281 on July 8. The only day in June with a higher total was the 309 new cases on June 29. The seven-day average now sits at 101, which is a rate of 3.8 new daily cases per 100,000 residents, according to a county news release. The seven-day average at this time last week was 78, which is a rate of three new daily cases per 100,000 residents.
“It’s important to remember that the immunity from having COVID dissipates over a two- to three-month period and must be replaced by a vaccine,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement. “Further, it’s important to remember that for people who have not had COVID in the last three months or the vaccine since it has become available, they do not have immunity and the Delta variant is now the type of COVID that 37% of Texans are contracting.”
There have been 263,826 cases and 4,141 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.
Half of Dallas County residents age 12 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of July 8, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. In Collin County, that number sits at nearly 60%.
The DSHS COVID-19 vaccination dashboard shows a combined estimate of more than 1.6 million people in the two counties are reported as being fully vaccinated. The DSHS estimates show there are more than 2.8 million residents age 16 and older in Collin and Dallas counties, although vaccine appointments are not limited to county residents.
Nearly 25 million doses have been administered across Texas, and more than 12 million people have been fully vaccinated since manufacturers began shipping vials to the state in December, according to the DSHS dashboard.
Dallas County’s Public Health Committee lowered the COVID-19 risk level for unvaccinated people from “extreme caution” to “proceed carefully” on June 14. Further information on what doctors recommend is safe for unvaccinated people under the current risk level is available on the county website.
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 the DSHS, there were 1,851 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals as of July 8, down from 1,583 on June 17.
As of July 7, 3.03% of the hospital beds in Trauma Service Area E were occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients, according to the DSHS dashboard.
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.
Dallas County Health and Human Services reported more than 496,000 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 more than 7,700 confirmed coronavirus cases in that county’s portion of Richardson.