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Officials warn status quo will 'overwhelm' health care system, as Dallas County reports 1,085 new COVID-19 cases

“If July Fourth weekend is like Memorial Day weekend, it would be essentially catastrophic,” said Dr. Philip Huang, Dallas County Health and Human Services director.

DALLAS — Dallas County reported 1,085 new coronavirus cases on Friday, while the entire state of New York state reported 918.

“It is a key point in time in Dallas County,” said Dr. Philip Huang, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services.

RELATED: MAP: These are the confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Dallas-Fort Worth area

Thursday, the number of new cases reported by Dallas County was 708.

“Now we’ve gone up another 300, that’s getting close to a 50% increase in one day,” Huang said.

Cases reported one day are not reflective of what's happening in the community that same day, according to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. 

Jenkins tweeted that tests results are taking up to 10 days to come back, which means this rise in cases isn't about what's happening today, but what happened a week or more ago. 

Jenkins and Huang believe the root cause of the surge in COVID-19 positive cases is a change in behavior that began around Memorial Day.

“Before Memorial Day weekend, we’d been keeping things flat," Huang said. “I think everyone felt like, ‘Hey it’s time to go back to normal.’”

Normal is a long way off, but the next holiday isn’t.

"If July Fourth weekend is like Memorial Day weekend, it would be essentially catastrophic," Huang said.

Numbers from previous holidays

On April 12, Easter Sunday, Dallas County reported 79 new cases.

On Mother’s Day, May 10, the county reported 251 new cases.

By Memorial Day, May 25, the number of new cases had dipped to 171.

But in mid-June things began to change.

On June 10, the county hit 300 new cases for the first time. 

On June 17, it surpassed 400.

What Judge Clay Jenkins calls “an explosive surge of community spread” began appearing this week: 572 new cases on Monday, 601 new cases Tuesday, 544 new cases Wednesday, then 708 on Thursday and 1,085 on Friday.

Hospitalizations follow same trend

Some might say higher number of cases are because of a higher amount of testing being done.

But the number of COVID-19 patients in area hospitals is about double what it was a month ago, according to the county’s daily reports.

“We need to do something to keep this under control,” Huang said. “The numbers we’re seeing, if we continue to increase at this rate, are going to overwhelm our system.”

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