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2019 Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19)

Dallas County Health and Human Services - 2377 N. Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75207
Telephone: 214-819-2000

If you receive a call or text from Dallas County Health and Human Services and you need additional assistance, please call the DCHHS COVID-19 Call Center at (972) 692-2780. You can access the Contact Tracing page here.

 

 

2019 Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19)

Today's COVID-19 Risk

Click Here for Dallas County COVID-19 Risk Level and Health Guidance for the Public

CLICK HERE for Dallas County COVID-19 Monitoring Data

Dallas County Residents

Date last updated:

 Confirmed Cases of COVID-19

Deaths from COVID-19

October 18, 202090,318*1,085
* Numbers are updated daily. Note: Does not include positive results from persons who reside out-of-state or outside of Dallas County.

As of 2:00 pm October 19, 2020, Dallas County Health and Human Services is reporting 382 additional positive cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Dallas County for a cumulative total of 90,318 confirmed cases (PCR test), including 1,085 confirmed deaths.  No additional deaths are being reported today. There are 51 additional probable cases (antigen test) to report today for a total of 4,631 probable cases including 13 probable deaths. 

Of the 331 new confirmed cases we are reporting today, 263 came through the Texas Department of State Health Services’ (DSHS) electronic laboratory reporting (ELR) system, and 2 are from older months. Please see a provisional breakdown below of these newly reported cases by date of collection:

 

Month

# of positive patients

September

2

October

261


The provisional 7-day average daily new confirmed and probable cases (by date of test collection) for CDC week 41 was 453, an increase from the previous daily average of 383 for CDC week 40. The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 has increased to 12.6% of symptomatic patients presenting to area hospitals testing positive in week 41 (week ending 10/10/20). A provisional total of 390 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in school-aged children (5 to 17 years) during CDC week 41, an increase of 32% from the previous week in this age group.

Of all confirmed cases requiring hospitalization to date, more than two-thirds have been under 65 years of age. Diabetes has been an underlying high-risk health condition reported in about a third of all hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Of the total confirmed deaths reported to date, about 24% have been associated with long-term care facilities. New cases are being reported as a daily aggregate, with a more detailed summary report updated Tuesdays and Fridays.

To view current and past press releases, please visit: https://www.dallascounty.org/covid-19/judge-press-releases.php

For additional information, please visit: https://www.dallascounty.org/covid-19/.

Texas COVID-19 Testing Locations

Test collection sites which are accessible to the public are available statewide.

Click here to view a map of drive-through and in-person testing sites.

  
 

 
 

Date Issued

Dallas County COVID-19 Summaries*

October 16, 2020Dallas County 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary, 10/16/20
*Summary will be updated Tuesdays and Fridays. For past issues, click here.

Date Issued

Orders

July 16, 2020Dallas County Order of Local Health Authority for Public and Private Schools
April 2, 2020Amended Order of County Judge Clay Jenkins (Safe at Home Order)
April 1, 2020Amended Order of County Judge Clay Jenkins Regarding Long-Term Care Facilities
March 31, 2020Amended Order of County Judge Clay Jenkins (Stay Home Stay Safe)
March 31, 2020Executive Order of County Judge Clay Jenkins (Allowing Donations)
March 29, 2020Amended Order of County Judge Clay Jenkins (Safer at Home Order)
March 29, 2020Dallas County Order of County Judge Clay Jenkins Regarding Long-Term Care Facilities


Residents are asked to help prevent spread of the virus by practicing non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) such as social distancing (avoiding close contact with other people, especially those who are sick), covering coughs and sneezes, and hand hygiene. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. If you are sick, stay home. 

Current travel advisories can be viewed at the U.S. Department of State and CDC. The CDC recommends that travelers defer all cruise travel worldwide.

2019 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS | NUEVO CORONAVIRUS 2019 | 2019 新型冠状病毒 | VI-RÚT CORONA MỚI 2019

What is the coronavirus disease or COVID-19? 

  • Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. There are several known coronaviruses that infect people and usually only cause mild respiratory disease, such as the common cold.
  • You can learn more about COVID-19 at the CDC website.

Has anyone in the United States been infected?

How does the virus spread?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in many affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

For more information about how the virus spreads, see the CDC's FAQ.

What are the symptoms does COVID-19 cause?

  • Symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Additional symptoms include headache, fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, new loss or taste or smell, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. This is not a comprehensive list. Please visit the CDC for more information on symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
  • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs may include:
    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face
    • (Consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning)

Who is at risk for having severe disease related to COVID-19?

Most people who contract COVID-19 will experience mild symptoms; however, similar to flu, there are groups of people who need to take extra precautions:

What is the treatment for COVID-19?

  • People with COVID-19 may receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorization of potential treatments. A summary of these treatments can be found here

Should I be tested for COVID-19?

  • If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, you should call ahead to a healthcare provider or visit a drive-thru testing location or other testing location. If your symptoms are mild, you can:
    • Visit the CDC's Coronavirus Self-Checker to answer questions about your symptoms and receive guidance to help you make a decision on whether or not to seek medical care. 
    • Call 2-1-1 for general public inquiries about COVID-19 resources.
  • Individuals who have been identified by public health as high risk for COVID-19 will be given specific recommendations to seek care for testing for COVID-19, if needed.

What if I am experiencing flu-like symptoms and am worried I might have COVID-19?

  • If you think you were exposed to COVID-19 and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should contact a healthcare provider or visit a drive-thru testing location or other testing location to be screened for COVID-19 testing.
    • Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency roomcall ahead and tell them about your symptoms.
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth face covering BEFORE you enter the healthcare facility for medical evaluation.
  • Follow the CDC's recommendations for what to do if you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19.

Useful Resources:


Think You Might Have COVID-19?

Take the CDC's Symptom Self-Checker here.

What should you do if you test positive for COVID-19?

What should you do if you have symptoms for COVID-19?

Are you a critical infrastructure worker?

If your job identifies you as a critical infrastructure worker, please see the CDC guidance on safety practices in the case of potential exposure to COVID-19. This interim guidance pertains to critical infrastructure workers, including personnel in 16 different sectors of work including:

  • Federal, state, & local law enforcement
  • 911 call center employees
  • Fusion Center employees
  • Hazardous material responders from government and the private sector
  • Janitorial staff and other custodial staff
  • Workers – including contracted vendors – in food and agriculture, critical manufacturing, informational technology, transportation, energy and government facilities

Links to PDF versions of the guidance and printable flyers:

  • Interim Guidance for Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 (CDC) (Translations: English | Spanish)

  • Printable flyers for the work place (CDC) (Translations: English | Spanish)

Are you a parent or guardian?

Parents and guardians, please see the the following:  Guidance for Parents and Guardians: What to do when you or your child is sick with COVID-19

Daily Life and Basic Habits

The CDC has posted the following helpful resources for households:

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads. Basic, everyday habits go a long way to protecting yourself from viruses, including COVID-19: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • 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.
Additional Resources:

As part of a strategy aimed to limited continued COVID-19 spread in US communities, the US government has recommended that all travelers stay home voluntarily for 14 days after traveling from countries with widespread ongoing transmission or on cruise ships or river cruises. DCHHS is contacting people who recently traveled to countries that are classified by CDC as level 3 travel health notice due to COVID-19. 

Guidance for Social Distancing

Due to your potential exposure to COVID-19 infection during travel, as much as possible

  • Stay at home until 14 days after arrival, except to get essential medical care, as much as possible. Do not go to work or school and avoid public areas (e.g., shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums, etc.) and public transportation, including rideshare and taxis.
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor and reschedule all non-essential medical appointments.
  • Separate yourself from others in the home and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet (2 meters) from others.
  • Avoid contact with people at higher risk for severe illness (unless they live in the same home and had same exposure)
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Wash your hands and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid sharing household items like dishes, cups, eating utensils, and bedding.
  • Postpone long-distance travel as you may be unable to return if you become symptomatic.
  • Monitor your symptoms for 14 days after you were exposed. Watch for: fever (> 100.4°F; take your temperature twice a day), coughing, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea and/or vomiting

If you develop fever or any of the symptoms listed above AT ANY TIME:

  1. Follow the CDC's recommendations for what to do if you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19.
  2. Call your healthcare provider right away or visit one of our drive-thru testing locations.
    • If your symptoms are mild, you may want to use the CDC's Coronavirus Self-Checker to answer questions about your symptoms and receive guidance to help you make a decision on whether or not to seek medical care. 
  3. Before going to your medical appointment, be sure to tell your healthcare provider about your travel or your close contact with someone who is confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19 infection. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected.

Resources:

If you need to seek medical care for other reasons, such as dialysis, call ahead to your doctor and tell them about your recent travel to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.

What Schools Can Do

Public Health Resources

Guidance from the CDC

Countering Stigma and Bullying

Infographics and Helpful Resources

Is your business considered critical infrastructure?

If your business falls into any of the following categories:

  • Federal, state, or local law enforcement
  • 9-1-1 call center
  • Fusion center
  • Government and private sector hazardous materials
  • Janitorial and custodial services
  • A business or vendor (this includes contracted vendors) in food and agriculture, critical manufacturing, informational technology, transportation, energy and government facilities

you are considered critical infrastructure and should review the following guidance:

Restaurants and other food businesses should review the following resources:

Planning Considerations

Businesses should review their Continuity of Operations Plan or Business Continuity Plan. 

A Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) or Business Continuity Plan (BCP) outlines the job or service functions that are essential to keeping the business operational. Essential functions are often tied to public safety and health, job functions tied to laws or administrative codes and those functions that keep the business open. A healthy COOP or BCP plan will include:

  • Details of the essential functions
  • Key staff who perform the essential functions
  • List of essential records, contracts and important information needed to keep the functions running
  • Cross-trained personnel who can perform essential functions

Businesses should prepare for social distancing and absenteeism

Businesses should include ways to reduce interactions amongst employees. Explore whether you can establish policies and practices, such as flexible worksites, teleworking, flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), to increase the physical distance among employees and between employees.

Be flexible with employees who become ill. It’s important that employees with signs of respiratory illness (fever and cough) stay home and seek medical care. Some employees with recent travel to a Level 3 Country may be placed under quarantine for 14 days.

DO NOT require proof of a negative COVID-19 test before employees return to work.  

For more guidance on COOP or BCP planning, visit ready.gov/business 

Response Considerations

Provide alcohol-based (60%) hand sanitizers for use for both employees and customers by placing them at convenient/accessible locations.

Actively encourage sick employees to stay home:

  • Dallas County Health and Human Services recommends employees who have COVID-19 symptoms to follow the CDC guidelines for what to do if you are sick. This recommendation applies regardless of whether the individual has been tested for COVID-19 and is advised to reduce overall risk of transmission of flu-like symptoms before returning to work. Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
  • Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
  • Talk with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.
  • Do NOT require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
  • Do NOT require a negative COVID-19 test for employees to return to work.
  • Public Health WILL NOT contact every business to notify them of employees who are positive for COVID-19. Notification to businesses depends on case investigation information, potential exposure and whether the employee was in a high-risk job (e.g., healthcare).
  • Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.
  • Encourage sick staff to use telehealth if available.

Separate sick employees:

  • CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. While at work, sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).
  • Have sick employees follow CDC guidelines for what to do if you are sick.

Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees:

  • Place posters that encourage staying home when sickcough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.
  • Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
  • Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol,or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
  • Visit the coughing and sneezing etiquette and clean hands webpage for more information.

Perform routine environmental cleaning:

  • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
  • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.

Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps:

  • Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel. Specific travel information for travelers going to and returning from China, and information for aircrew, can be found at on the CDC website.
  • Advise employees to check themselves for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before starting travel and notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
  • Ensure employees who become sick while traveling or on temporary assignment understand that they should notify their supervisor and should promptly call a healthcare provider for advice if needed.
  • If outside the United States, sick employees should follow your company’s policy for obtaining medical care or contact a healthcare provider or overseas medical assistance company to assist them with finding an appropriate healthcare provider in that country. A U.S. consular officer can help locate healthcare services. However, U.S. embassies, consulates, and military facilities do not have the legal authority, capability, and resources to evacuate or give medicines, vaccines, or medical care to private U.S. citizens overseas
CDC

Please see the following CDC link for business/employer guidance and cleaning and disinfection recommendations: Resources for Businesses and Employers (CDC)

OSHA

If your organization or agency is involved in the COVID-19 response and you would like to place an order for PPE from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), please note the following prior to placing a request:
  • The SNS cache is available to entities in Trauma Service Area E based on critical need; it is not distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis.
  • Organizations experiencing a critical shortage of PPE necessary for COVID-19 response can request supplies from the SNS PPE cache.
  • Not all organizations that request PPE from the SNS cache will have their request filled, and some requests will be filled at a lower level than requested.
  • The SNS cache is not intended to provide a full or recurring PPE supply. It is intended to provide organizations who are within 72 horus of exhausting their PPE supply with up to 72 hours of PPE.
To request Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), follow the instructions to complete the NCTTRAC PPE Resource Request Form and ICS 213RR found in the link below:

Reporting Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cases

Healthcare providers with positive (confirmed) COVID-19 test results must complete the submit the following case report form (CRF) to DCHHS at (214) 819-6095:

Testing for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The CDC has an FAQ on COVID-19 testing at laboratories that includes information on public health and commercial laboratory testing capacity.

Commercial Lab Testing

A list of commercial labs offering COVID-19 testing can be found at the FDA's FAQ on Diagnostic Testing for SARS-CoV-2 webpage.

Public Health Lab Testing

Dallas County LRN Laboratory has capacity to test for novel coronavirus. Healthcare providers requesting testing should review the following documents:

Health Advisories and Alerts

Provider Resources

PUI Assessment and Infection Control

Home Care Considerations and Discontinuation of Precautions

EMS Resources

Testing for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Dallas County LRN Laboratory has capacity to test for novel coronavirus. Healthcare providers requesting testing should review the following documents and specimen collection resource:

Laboratory Guidelines

Dallas County Health and Human Services recommends individuals and families follow everyday preventative measures, otherwise known as non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI), as the frontline of defense against COVID-19 and other seasonal respiratory viruses:

  • Voluntary Home Isolation: Stay home when you are sick with respiratory disease symptoms. At the present time, these symptoms are more likely due to influenza or other respiratory viruses than to COVID-19-related virus. Follow CDC guidelines for what to do if you are sick
  • Respiratory Etiquette: Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can.
  • Hand Hygiene: Wash 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 60%-95% alcohol.
  • Environmental Health Action: Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces and objects

Routine use of these measures by individuals and their families will increase community resilience and readiness for responding to an outbreak. Additionally, CDC is also recommending the following:

  • Use of cloth face coverings to keep people who are infected but do not have symptoms from spreading COVID-19 to others
    • The cloth face covering is not a surgical mask or N95 respirator. Medical face masks are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders, as recommended by CDC.
    • The cloth face covering is meant to protect other people in case you get sick
    • The cloth face cover should not be used as a substitute for social distancing.
  • Following the White House "Slow the Spread" guidelines, in place until April 30th. These guidelines are part of a nationwide effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 through the implementation of social distancing at all levels of society.
  • People 65 years and older and people with severe underlying medical conditions should take special precautions because they are at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.
  • People who get a fever or cough should consider whether they might have COVID-19, depending on where they live, their travel history or other exposures. All of the U.S. is seeing community spread of COVID-19.There is no treatment for this virus. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care.
  • Testing for COVID-19 may be accessed through your medical provider, one of Dallas County's drive-thru testing locations or Dallas County Health and Human Services (your medical provider must contact the health department to request testing). You can also view a map of all testing locations throughout Texas.
  • American citizens, lawful permanent residents, and their families who have been in one of the countries with travel restrictions for entering the U.S. in the past 14 days will be allowed to enter the United States but will be redirected to one of 13 airports. If you are returning from one of these countries, you should stay home and monitor your health. All other international travelers please follow CDC instructions during this time. Your cooperation is integral to the ongoing public health response to try to slow spread of this virus.

Resources

COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Donations

If you have recovered from novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and are interested in donating plasma, please visit the organizations below to determine your eligibility and fill out a donor request form:

Contact Information

  • Inquiries from the general public may be made to 2-1-1.
  • Physicians may call the DCHHS 24/7 answering service at 1-877-605-2660 for consultation.
  • Media inquiries may be made to lauren.trimble@dallascounty.org 

Additional Resources






Updated 10/18/20