This story will be updated throughout Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020.
COVID-19 case counts continue to surge Sunday in North Texas as numbers spike across the state and the country.
The state of Texas has surpassed more than 1 million total cases of COVID-19 as hospitalizations near levels not seen since early August as the state was coming off its worst surge yet in the pandemic.
“We are at a very dangerous point in the fight against COVID-19. We are staring down the barrel of the largest spike that we have seen to date in COVID cases,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Wednesday.
The U. S. surpassed 11 million cases Sunday, after setting a record to become the first country to surpass 10 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday, Nov. 9.
It had taken just 10 days to go from 9 million to 10 million cases, the shortest time yet between 1 million confirmed cases in the U.S. If the country hits 11 million on Sunday, that lag time will be cut down to six days.
These numbers come as healthcare professionals are becoming more and more concerned about holiday gatherings during the pandemic while they are facing significant shortages and burnout among their own ranks.
The state of Texas Sunday reported 6,390 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 89 new deaths. Texas now has 1,020,721 confirmed cases and 19,559 deaths since tracking began in March. The state is reporting 7,274 hospitalizations due to COVID-19.
Tarrant County reports more than 1,000 cases for fourth day in a row
Tarrant County has now reported daily case totals above 1,000 people for the fourth day in a row.
Health officials announced there were 1,523 new cases and four new deaths Sunday, putting the county at a cumulative total of 82,015 people who have been infected and 794 people who have died since tracking began in March.
Of the county's 5,040 hospital beds, about 3,960 are currently occupied, or about 4 out of every 5 beds.
Of those that are occupied, 726 are COVID-19 patients, according to the county's COVID-19 website.
Alvarado ISD moves to online-only learning for Alvarado Elementary South
Alvarado ISD will be moving to online-only learning for the week of Nov. 16-20 for its Alvarado Elementary South students after the school district saw "a significant increase" in COVD-19 cases last week, according to a post on the district's Facebook page. The tentative plan now is for students to return to school for in-person learning on Nov. 30.
Dallas County reports 1,458 new cases and 1 death
Dallas County reported a total of 1,458 cases of COVID-19 and one death Sunday. That's down from the county record of 1,543 set on Saturday, but case totals had been hitting new records almost daily for the past week.
The 1,458 reported cases Sunday are made up of 1,281 confirmed cases and 177 probable cases, according to county health officials. This puts Dallas County at a cumulative total of 109,022 cases and 1,142 confirmed deaths since tracking began in March.
County officials say they have recorded 9,862 total probable cases from antigen testing and have recorded 20 probable deaths as a result of COVID-19.
A Dallas man in his 50s who had been critically ill in an area hospital was the latest to die from the disease, officials said Sunday.
As of Saturday night, about 4,417 of the 5,841 hospital beds in the city of Dallas were currently in use, city officials reported. That includes about 715 of the city's 908 ICU beds, according to self-reported data from 25 hospitals.
Of the county's 981 ventilators, about 384 are currently in use.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson wrote in an email Sunday that Dallas' numbers are "headed in the wrong direction," for both COVID-19 infections and crime numbers. The city saw at least 10 shootings over the weekend.
"The recent increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are deeply concerning. Dallas is on pace to hit new peaks in the coming weeks. The second wave is here, even though the first wave never truly subsided," Johnson wrote. He urged citizens to wear masks, get flu shots and to practice social distancing.
Speaking about crime, he wrote that as of Thursday, Dallas surpassed its 2019 number for homicides with nearly seven weeks left in the year.
"Dallas cannot reduce violent crime by shrugging off the numbers or pointing toward increases in other cities," Johnson wrote. He again shared this survey link for Dallasites to share their thoughts on what they want in a new police chief.