A day after Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued an executive order requiring face masks be worn in public schools, businesses and county buildings regardless of vaccination status, Dallas County Health and Human Services reported 1,009 new cases of coronavirus Aug. 12.
The seven-day average now sits at 806, which is a rate of 30.6 new daily cases per 100,000 residents, according to a county news release. The seven-day average at this time last week was 525, which is a rate of 19.9 new daily cases per 100,000 residents.
“Today’s number of new COVID[-19] cases is once again over 1,000, and the numbers continue to climb,” Jenkins said in a statement Aug. 12. “The staffing situation in our hospitals has never been worse, and increasing numbers of patients require care.”
There have been 281,955 cases and 4,240 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.
According to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services, there were 11,261 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals as of Aug. 13, which is a more than 112% increase from the 5,292 patients on July 27.
As of Aug. 11, 15.62% of the hospital beds in Trauma Service Area E, which consists of 19 counties in North Texas including Collin and Dallas counties, were occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients, according to the DSHS dashboard. That is a more than 296% increase from the 3.94% of hospital beds occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients July 12.
More than 53% of Dallas County residents age 12 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Aug. 12, according to DSHS. In Collin County, that number sits at more than 63%.
The DSHS COVID-19 vaccination dashboard shows a combined estimate of more than 1.7 million people in the two counties are reported as being fully vaccinated. 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.
More than 27 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.
On July 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended fully vaccinated people in areas with "high" or "substantial" levels of transmission wear masks in indoor, public settings. As of Aug. 12, the CDC classified Dallas and Collin counties as areas of “high” spread.
“Mask up when you’re indoors anywhere besides your home or outside ... and get vaccinated as soon as possible if you haven’t been,” Jenkins said in his statement. “None of us can do everything, but we all can do something. This is a battle against a relentless enemy in the virus, and we are all on team public health.”
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 residents can register for the COVID-19 vaccine with Dallas County Health and Human Services here. Collin County Health Care Services announced July 27 the creation of mobile vaccination teams. Residents can request appointments for the free shots. According to a city of Richardson spokesperson, the city is not involved in vaccine distribution.
Dallas County Health and Human Services reported nearly 500,000 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. Richardson does not regularly report its own case numbers; however, Dallas County’s COVID-19 analytics dashboard shows there have been more than 7,600 confirmed coronavirus cases in that county’s portion of Richardson.