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D-FW’s business capacity to return as COVID-19 hospitalizations remain above 15% for 7 consecutive days

Updated at 17:50: redesigned to include status data.

The state hospital region, which includes Dallas-Fort Worth, announced COVID-19 hospitalizations above Governor Greg Abbott’s doorstep for the seventh day in a row Thursday, leading to a reduction in indoor capacity for businesses in the area.

The state said 15.55 percent of North Texas hospital beds were occupied by coronavirus patients. According to the governor’s order, after seven consecutive days over 1

5%, companies must reduce their employment from 75% to 50%.

There are 9,151 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals, including 2,545 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Governor Abbott’s executive orders remain in force for people in Texas to wear face pads in restaurants unless they are sitting down to eat and drink. Outdoor areas such as restaurant courtyards have no employment restrictions, but diners must maintain social distance. Bars that do not have a food and beverage permit issued by the Texas Alcohol Commission must remain closed. Election operations will also be delayed.

In a written statement, the county said Thursday night that the business includes all restaurants, shops, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms and sports facilities and classes, museums and libraries. According to the governor’s order, the region will remain under restrictions as long as there are seven consecutive days in which the rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations is below 15%, the county said.

Renae Eze, a spokesman for Gov. Greg Abbott, said Thursday that “mitigation protocols work, but only if implemented.” Last month, Abbott suggested that local authorities were not fully complying with his COVID-19 orders.

But Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, like local state officials, said the county and its municipalities are prevented from enforcing the rules on masks and the number of customers allowed in business because the state sets those limits. Part of the problem is that a warning is required first, officials say. A recent inspection of the archives showed that the city of Dallas has issued nearly 6,200 warnings since March, but only 37 official citations.

Dallas County reported three deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday as it announced another 2,122 cases of coronavirus.

The latest deaths were a Dallas man in his 60s and two Dallas men in their 70s, all of whom were hospitalized. All three victims had major health problems.

Of the new cases reported Thursday, 1,637 have been confirmed and 485 are likely. The newly reported cases brought the total confirmed cases in the county to 130,830 and the probable cases to 12,909. There were 1,224 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 and 36 probable deaths in the county.

The county recently announced that it counted only positive antigen tests (sometimes called rapid tests) as probable cases; several antibody and “household” results were included earlier.

Although other North Texas counties have predicted the number of people who have recovered from the virus, Dallas County officials have not reported a recovery, noting that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not use this indicator.

In a written statement, Jenkins said Thursday that he expects health workers and residents of nursing homes to start receiving vaccines this month. Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that the state will receive 1.4 million coronavirus vaccines in the week of December 14.

“There’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” Jenkins said. “However, we are not there yet, and it is imperative that we all do what we can to become a little safer for ourselves, our community and our country, while the vaccine can have an effect.”

Dr. Pedro Salcido, an ambulance, conducted a COVID-19 driving test in a downtown parking lot on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, in Dallas.  04.30 Smiley N. Pool / The Dallas Morning News

The county reported that from November 15 to 21, 1,157 school-age children tested positive for COVID-19. In the past week, 13 schools in Dallas, K-12, have initiated temporary closures for personal training due to COVID-19 cases.

So far, more than two-thirds of all confirmed hospitalization cases have been in people under the age of 65, and diabetes is the underlying condition in about one-third of all hospitalized patients, according to the county.

The provisional seven-day average of the daily new confirmed and probable cases for the last reporting period, November 15-21, was 1347. The figure is calculated according to the date of collection of COVID-19 tests, according to the county.

Dallas County does not provide a degree of positivity for all COVID-19 tests conducted in the area; district health officials said they did not have the exact number of tests that are performed each day. But as of the county’s last reporting period, 17.3% of people who had been admitted to hospitals with symptoms of COVID-19 had tested positive for the virus. This is an increase compared to the previous reporting period, when 17% of such patients received positive results.

Of the total confirmed deaths of COVID-19 in the county, about 23% were related to long-term care facilities.

Country data

Another 13,857 cases and 244 deaths from COVID-19 were reported nationwide on Thursday. Texas currently reports 1,215,313 confirmed cases and 22,000 deaths.

The seven-day average positivity rate across the country, based on the date of sampling, was 15.02% on Wednesday. Public health officials said using data based on when people were tested provides the most accurate degree of positivity.

The condition also provides a degree of positivity based on when laboratory results are reported to the state; as of Wednesday, this percentage is 13.3%.

Earlier, officials calculated the degree of coronavirus positivity in Texas by dividing the last seven days of new positive test results by the last seven days of the total results of the new tests. With this measure, the degree of positivity is already 11.45%, according to the state board.

Doctors examine a lung CT scan at a hospital in Xiaogang, China.

Taranto County

Taranto County reported 1,894 coronavirus cases and 10 new deaths on Thursday.

Recent deaths include a man from Fort Worth in the 1980s, a woman from Arlington in the 1980s, two men from Arlington in the 1970s, a man and woman from Fort Worth in the 1970s and a man and three women from Fort Worth in the 1950s. Seven of the victims had major health problems.

Recently reported cases resulted in a total of 105,675, including 93,592 confirmed cases, 12,083 probable cases and 74,266 recoveries. The number of victims is 864.

According to data on Thursday on the board of the district 884 people were hospitalized with the virus.

Colin County

The state added 295 coronavirus cases to the total number of Colin County on Thursday, leading to 27,848. Five new deaths from COVID-19 have also been reported.

The death toll in the county is 266.

According to state data, the county had 3,091 active cases and registered 24,757 recoveries.

According to the COVID-19 county dashboard, there are a total of 306.

Denton County

Denton County reported 471 coronavirus cases – 335 of which were active – and four new deaths on Thursday.

Recent deaths include a man from Denton in the 1980s, a woman in her 80s who was a resident of Longmeadow Health Center in Justin, a man from Corinth in his 50s and a man in his 60s who was resident of rural nursing and rehabilitation Pilot point.

Recently reported cases brought a total of 25,094 to the county, including 6,442 active and 18,500 recovered. The number of victims is 152.

According to the county, 770 patients with COVID-19 were hospitalized.

Other counties

The Texas Department of Public Health has taken responsibility for these other counties in North Texas. In some countries, new data may not be reported every day.

The latest numbers are:

  • Rockwall County: 3,444 cases, 39 deaths.
  • Kaufman County: 5,539 cases, 85 deaths.
  • Ellis County: 7,755 cases, 118 deaths.
  • Johnson County: 6,171 cases, 112 deaths.

Collaborators Erin Buk and Ali Morris contributed to this report.

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