Tracking COVID-19: Dallas County reports 4,800 new cases since beginning of year

Here is the latest COVID-19 data update from Dallas County. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Here is the latest COVID-19 data update from Dallas County. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Here is the latest COVID-19 data update from Dallas County. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

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

Dallas County reported a four-day total of 4,800 new cases of coronavirus since the beginning of the year Jan. 5.

The county has opened testing sites at the Mountain View and Richland campuses of Dallas College, according to the news release. Additional sites are also being considered in Garland, Mesquite and more areas of the county, the release states.

“We are dramatically increasing testing opportunities here in Dallas County in response to the omicron variant,” County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement. “It's going to be very important with omicron that you know your status and that if you're feeling at all sick with any symptoms of the coronavirus that you stay home until you can be tested.”

On Jan. 4, 16.8% of North Texas hospital beds were filled with COVID-19 patients.

That total is a nearly 56% increase in the percentage of hospital beds in Trauma Service Area E occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients since Dec. 29, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services dashboard. The trauma service area consists of 19 counties in North Texas, including Collin and Denton counties.

The Dec. 29 total was 10.79% of hospital beds occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients.

According to data from DSHS, there were 8,129 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals as of Jan. 5, which is a more than 173% increase from the 2,971 patients Dec. 5.

There have been 372,252 cases and 5,575 deaths in Dallas County since officials began data collection in March 2020. About 15% of deaths countywide have been associated with long-term care facilities.

In RISD, 2,466 students and 629 employees have been diagnosed since Aug. 2, according to the district’s dashboard, which was updated Jan. 5. Of cases confirmed in RISD, 719 students and 245 employees had the virus as of Jan. 5. Those totals amount to 1.93% of district students and 3.34% of staff members, according to the dashboard.

In PISD, 522 students and 213 employees were listed with current cases, according to the district’s dashboard, which was last updated Jan. 5. Those totals amount to 1.06% of district students and 4.1% of staff members, according to the dashboard.

More than 70% of Dallas County residents age 5 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Jan. 5, according to DSHS. In Collin County, that number sits at more than 78%.

The DSHS COVID-19 vaccination dashboard shows a combined estimate of more than 2.1 million people in the two counties reported as being fully vaccinated.

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 81%, 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 less than 56% of the estimated population.

Nearly 40 million doses have been administered across Texas, and more than 16.5 million people have been fully vaccinated since manufacturers began shipping vials to the state in December 2020, according to the DSHS dashboard.

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.

Information about the COVID-19 vaccine and where to get vaccinated is available at 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.

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 more than 10,500 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.