Dallas County crossed two grim thresholds Tuesday in its ongoing surge of cases of the novel coronavirus.
County health officials reported 601 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday afternoon, marking the first time the county has reported more than 600 cases in a single day. The county also reported 20 coronavirus-related deaths, a new single-day record for the county.
The two youngest victims were men in their 30s, one from Richardson and the other from Dallas. The Richardson man died in a hospital, where he had been critically ill. The Dallas man, who didn't have any underlying conditions that placed him at higher risk, was found dead at home.
The oldest victims were two women in their 90s, both of whom lived in long-term care facilities in Dallas. Both women died in hospitals. Of the county's 373 coronavirus-related deaths reported since the beginning of the pandemic, more than a third have been associated with long-term care facilities, health officials said.
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Tuesday's numbers are a part of a steady upward trend in coronavirus cases in the county. The county's single-day record of new coronavirus cases comes just three days after the county's single-day total crossed the 500 mark for the first time, and 20 days after officials reported more than 300 cases for the first time.
A growing number of new cases in Dallas County are among younger adults, county health officials said. Since June 1, more than half of the county's new cases have been in people age 18 to 39 years old. Health officials said a growing number of those cases have been associated with large recreational gatherings, including house parties.
In a statement, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins again called on Gov. Greg Abbott to enact a statewide order requiring people to wear masks when venturing out in public. A masking order, along with a statewide stay-home order, was among the changes Jenkins urged Abbott to enact in a letter sent over the weekend.
"The time for decisive action was several weeks ago but we must move immediately to a statewide masking order," Jenkins said. "Goldman Sachs estimates that a national masking order would save the economy a trillion dollars. When you divide that by the population of Texas, we can save $87 billion to our economy by all wearing a mask. We need this to be a statewide requirement, and I am again calling on Governor Abbott to make this the law throughout Texas."