Figures released by Dallas County Health and Human Services show the seven-day average of new coronavirus cases declined by more than 11% over the last week.
The seven-day average now sits at 998, which is a rate of 37.9 new daily cases per 100,000 residents, according to a county news release. The seven-day average at this time last week was 1,123, which is a rate of 42.6 new daily cases per 100,000 residents.
There have been 324,558 cases and 4,562 deaths in Dallas County since officials began data collection in March 2020. About 18% of deaths countywide have been associated with long-term care facilities.
“We are beginning to see cases and hospitalizations start to level and decline, but now is not the time to let up on our COVID-19 mitigation measures,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement Sept. 22. “With school activities in full swing and upcoming fall and winter holidays, it is important that we crush transmission back to much lower levels. Please keep up with masking, distancing and vaccinations.”
According to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services, there were 11,554 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals as of Sept. 22, which is a nearly 15% decrease from the 13,520 patients Sept. 8.
As of Sept. 21, 19.48% 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 was the first time since Aug. 26 that the service area has had less than 20% of hospital beds occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients.
According to the state’s public school dashboard, new student cases increased by more than 51% statewide between the first and second weeks of September. During the week ending Sept. 12, 23,779 additional cases were reported, which was a decrease from the 40,216 cases reported at the end of the week prior. Cases among staff also decreased during the same timespan, according to the dashboard.
In Richardson ISD, 982 students and 185 employees have been diagnosed since Aug. 2, according to the district’s dashboard, which was updated Sept. 22. Of cases confirmed in RISD, 161 students and 27 employees still had the virus as of Sept. 22. Those totals amount to 0.43% of district students and 0.38% of staff members, according to the dashboard.
In Plano ISD, 175 students and 14 employees were listed with current cases, according to the district’s dashboard, which was last updated Sept. 22. Those totals amount to 0.36% of district students and 0.27% of staff members, according to the dashboard.
Nearly 60% of Dallas County residents age 12 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Sept. 22, according to DSHS. In Collin County, that number sits at more than 69%.
The DSHS COVID-19 vaccination dashboard shows a combined estimate of more than 1.9 million people in the two counties 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.
The majority of the estimated population in all three of the main ZIP codes in Richardson have been fully vaccinated, according to totals from DSHS.
The 75082 ZIP code has the highest percentage of fully vaccinated residents with more than 74%, based on the population estimate from the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau Annual Community Survey results. The 75080 ZIP code has the lowest percentage of fully vaccinated residents with a little more than 51% of the estimated population.
More than 30 million doses have been administered across Texas, and more than 14.6 million people have been fully vaccinated since manufacturers began shipping vials to the state in December, according to the DSHS dashboard.
“With the continued threat of COVID-19, our hospitals are already stretched going into winter virus season,” Jenkins said in his Sept. 22 statement. “Please do your part; keep yourself healthy and help keep our hospital capacity available for nonpreventable emergencies by wearing a mask and getting your COVID[-19] and flu shot now.”
COVID-19 testing continues to be available throughout North Texas. In Richardson, there are numerous test sites that offer both drive-thru and walk-in appointments through local pharmacies and clinics. An interactive map of the available testing sites in Richardson and the surrounding area can be found at this link.
COVID-19 tests are available at no cost nationwide at health centers and select pharmacies due to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, including for those who do not have insurance.
Appointments are required for most COVID-19 testing sites, and information for scheduling an appointment is available on the interactive map.
Information about the COVID-19 vaccine and where to get vaccinated is available at www.vaccines.gov. 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.
DCHHS reported more than 500,000 vaccinations were administered at the Fair Park mega vaccine clinic, which operated Jan. 11-July 17. DCHHS will have vaccinations available daily at the State Fair of Texas beginning Sept. 24 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The DCHHS clinic will be located behind Big Tex between the Tower and Grand buildings, according to the county news release.
Collin County announced in August 2020 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 9,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in that county’s portion of Richardson.