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COVID-19 updates: SMU adds 103 new active cases in students, staff this week

Seventeen students and one staff member at the school who tested positive for COVID-19 were added to the school’s case count on Friday.
Credit: WFAA

This story will be updated throughout the day as new information is released.

Seventeen students and one staff member at Southern Methodist University who tested positive for COVID-19 were added to the school’s case count on Friday. 

That brings the schools new active cases this week to 103. The school has a total of 233 active student cases and four active employee cases, according to the school’s case dashboard.

This week was a decrease compared to the week of Aug. 31, which had 168 additional active cases.

There are 99 people quarantining on campus, though not all students who test positive are isolating on campus, the school said.

The school is providing isolation spaces on campus, which is at 47% capacity and 53% of spaces are available.

Dallas County reports 195 new positive cases, 1 additional death

Dallas County added 195 new positive cases and one additional death Friday, health officials said.

Of those, 23 were from July and 41 were from August. Forty-five of the cases from September were provided by the state health department.

The additional death was a woman who is 78 years old from Sunnyvale who had no underlying high-risk health condition.

The seven-day average for positive cases is 10.8%.

Sixteen-percent of all emergency department visits in the county for the 24-hour period ending on Thursday were for COVID-19-like symptoms, health officials said.

Cases in Dallas County have been on a gradual decline since the county's peak at the end of June and early July.

ZIP codes with the most cases are 75217 in southeastern Dallas and 75211 in western Dallas, according to county data.

Most cases have been reported in the 18 to 40 age range, according to the county.

The county has reported 74,628 cases and 964 deaths since tracking began in March.

Parkland Hospital closes one of its coronavirus units

Parkland Hospital confirmed its tactical care unit is empty of COVID-19 patients and closed on Sept. 1. 

The unit was used for patient care before and after surgery. Hospital officials said all positive COVID-19 patients since been moved to traditional wards dedicated to coronavirus care. 

Parkland said it has room in its new COVID-19 units to accommodate a spike in hospitalizations if needed. 

The tactical care unit opened on March 25.

According to state health data, there were more than 3,500 COVID-19 patients in hospitals as of 5 p.m. Thursday. This means, more than 11,000 hospital beds are currently available throughout the state.

One month ago, on Aug. 10, Texas health officials reported 7,304 patients were hospitalized due to COVID-19. 

In Dallas County, 354 patients were reported to be in acute care for COVID-19 as of Sept. 9. This is 234 fewer patients than what was reported about a month ago, when county health officials reported 588 patients in acute care on Aug. 7. 

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Big 12 to implement rapid COVID-19 tests day before games

The Big 12 has secured access to COVID-19 antigen testing that produces rapid results and will be used the day before the competition on players, coaches, and staff. 

The conference announced a partnership with Virtual Care for Families. The testing program will use Quidel Rapid Antigen tests. 

The Pac-12 recently announced a partnership with Quidel that will provide its schools with the capacity to test daily and get results in about 15 minutes. 

The Big 12 said it expects the Quidel test to provide results that quickly.

Texas' positivity rate lowest its been since mid-June

The state's positivity rate dropped to 6.9% on Friday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. This is the lowest it has been since June 15 when it was 6.71%.

The positivity rate shows how many people have tested positive for COVID-19 out of everyone who has gotten a test. The World Health Organization says the recommended positivity rate should be around 5%.

The current record happened on August 11 when the rate reached 24.5%.

Tarrant County reports 211 new cases for second straight day

Tarrant County Public Health added 211 new cases Friday, the same number added Thursday. There have now been 43,937 confirmed cases since tracking began in March.

Local officials also reported one new COVID-19 death, a woman from Southlake in her 90s.

Tarrant County now has 592 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

There are currently 230 people hospitalized for the virus in Tarrant County.

Denton County adds 61 new cases

Denton County Public Health reported 61 new cases of COVID-19 in Denton County, with 46 of them active cases. 

This brings the countywide total to 10,977 COVID-19 cases since tracking began in March. 

Local health officials added no new deaths Friday, as the county has 105 total confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.