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COVID-19 updates: Dallas County cases spike back up after downward trend, death toll hits 755

Sunday's new case count is the highest daily total in two weeks.

This story will be continuously updated on Aug. 9.

Dallas County officials reported four new confirmed deaths and 843 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 Sunday, reversing a downward trend in cases the county had seen. 

On Saturday, officials had reported 540 new cases, and 422 the day before. The last time the county had reported 800 or more cases was two weeks ago on July 26, when exactly 800 were reported. 

The county has confirmed 54,674 cases since tracking began in March, and 755 people have been confirmed to have died. Another 130 probable cases were recorded Saturday, bringing the county's total of probable cases to 2,202. Six people are considered probable COVID-19 deaths, officials said.

RELATED: Researcher shares how to understand probable coronavirus cases

The four new confirmed deaths include two men and two women, all of whom had been critically ill at local hospitals. 

A Balch Springs man in his 50s and a Dallas woman in her 60s both did not have any underlying high-risk health conditions when they died, officials said. The other two victims, a Irving man in his 60s and Grand Prairie woman in her 70s, did have underlying high-risk health conditions. 

More than 2,500 children have been confirmed to have the disease since July 1 in the county, according to officials, 61 of whom have been hospitalized.

More than two-thirds of all those who have been hospitalized with the disease since March have been under the age of 65, Dallas County data shows. 

Across Texas, 486,362 cases have been reported since tracking began in March, state data shows. Of those, 344,845 people have recovered from the disease while 8,459 people have died. Nearly 4,900 new cases were reported Sunday, along with 116 deaths. 

Texas’ weekly positivity rate hit a record high Sunday: 20.31%, up from 12.05% just eight days ago. Testing overall, however, has plummeted since the end of July. 

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that's one of the highest positivity rates in the country. 

Top updates for Sunday, Aug. 9: 

Denton County records 58 new cases

Denton County health officials reported 58 new coronavirus cases Sunday, bringing the total to 7,644 since tracking began in March. The county also reported 67 recoveries, bringing the recovery total to 4,561 since tracking began in March.

Collin County reports 215 new cases

Collin County health officials reported 215 new cases Sunday, bringing the countywide total to 7,654 since tracking began in March.

Tarrant County records nearly 500 new cases

Officials said there were 490 new confirmed cases and one probable case of COVID-19 Sunday in Tarrant County, raising the total to 33,860 since tracking began in March. A total of 22,083 people have reportedly recovered from the disease, while 422 people have died. 

Of the 33,860 cases, 32,177 have been confirmed, while 1,683 are considered probable. 

Dallas museums announce plans to reopen

Six museums in downtown Dallas have announced plans to reopen their doors to the public in the coming weeks. 

The Dallas Museum of Art and the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum will be the first to reopen on Aug. 14, a news release from the Dallas Museum of Art said. 

The Nasher Sculpture Center will follow on Aug. 20 and the Crow Museum of Asian Art will then reopen on Sept. 18. 

There are currently plans for the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza to be back open by mid-September, though an official date has not yet been announced, while the Perot Museum of Nature and Science plans to announce its date soon, according to the release.

The past five months have been times of significant change," a joint statement from the museums said. "As cultural institutions, we each recognize our unique roles as places for visitors to find solace, joy, and connection. We are excited to finally reopen our spaces to the community." 

RELATED: Six Dallas museums will reopen soon. Here's what you need to know

Dallas mayor chosen for National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice

Mayor Eric Johnson has been chosen to join National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice, his office announced Sunday. One of the 14 members, Johnson is the only mayor on the commission.

The group will work to look at how COVID-19 has affected the criminal justice system, create strategies to stop future outbreaks and develop systemic policy changes to balance public health and safety, a news release said. 

A bipartisan effort, the commission was created by the Council on Criminal Justice, which is a nonpartisan think tank. 

"I am honored to have been asked to participate in this distinguished and diverse group as we analyze and discuss solutions to two of the biggest issues facing our country," Johnson said in the release. "We have critical work ahead of us to keep the public safe, to build equity, and to address systemic racial issues amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shaken Dallas and created significant need in our communities."

107 employees of Dallas Fire-Rescue have tested positive for COVID-19

A total of 107 employees of the Dallas Fire-Rescue team have tested positive for the disease since tracking began, officials reported Sunday. Ninety-seven of them have since recovered and returned to work. 

Thirty-nine employees are also currently quarantining for on- and off-duty exposures, according to officials. 

Health experts recommend taking the following actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wear a face covering.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Practice "social distancing" and stay at least 6 feet away from others and avoid large public gatherings
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Consult CDC’s travel website for any travel advisories and steps to protect yourself if you plan to travel outside of the U.S.