Updated at 7 p.m.: Revised to include Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman and Rockwall counties.
Texas surpassed 10,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths Monday as the lingering toll of a massive summer outbreak continues, making the state the fourth to cross the grim milestone.
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 51 new deaths Monday, along with more than 2,700 new cases. Numbers typically have been lower on Mondays because of weekend reporting lags, and the state has reported hundreds of deaths on many days in recent weeks.
However, because Texas doesn’t add the deceased to the tally until death certificates are filed, many of the most recent fatalities occurred weeks ago.
Recently, the state has reported encouraging signs that include hospitalizations falling off by the thousands since July and the rate of positive cases declining. Statewide, 6,200 people are hospitalized with the virus, including 1,146 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to the Department of State Health Services.
But the state has struggled with lags in other data as it catches up on a large backlog of tests that has caused counts to spike in Dallas and other area counties.
On Monday, Dallas County reported a large number of new cases for the second straight day as it deals with the backlog caused by a coding error by the state.
The county reported 1,850 cases — but “a high number” of them were from June, County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a written statement. His chief of staff, Lauren Trimble, said a detailed background of those cases would be available Tuesday.
The county also reported four more deaths. The victims were three Dallas residents — two women, one in her 40s and the other in her 70s, and a man in his 70s — and a Richardson woman in her 70s.
Dallas County’s totals rose to 65,278 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 829 deaths. The county also has seen 2,519 probable cases, including seven probable deaths.
On Sunday, nearly 5,200 of the 5,361 cases reported were from the backlog, most of them from July.
“While at this point it is reasonable and understandable for people to be skeptical of the state’s reporting system, it is not reasonable to be skeptical of the science that is proving to be effective throughout the world in controlling the spread of COVID-19,” Jenkins said, referring to such precautions as masks and social distancing.
Texas embarked on one of the fastest reopenings in the country in May before an ensuing surge in cases led Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to backtrack and impose a statewide mask order. August has seen an improving outlook, though Texas officials now are concerned that not enough people are seeking tests.
According to the Department of State Health Services, there have been 542,950 cases of the virus and 10,034 deaths from it.
Texas joins New York, New Jersey and California as the other states to surpass 10,000 coronavirus deaths. Florida also is approaching 10,000 mark.
Jenkins said that as the state works to fix its coding error, Dallas County is expecting several more days of catching up on past cases.
He said that people whose cases were backlogged got their results from the lab but that no contact tracing was done on those cases because the information was lost in the state’s system.
He said the county is asking people who test positive to let their close contacts know they may have been exposed to COVID-19 because of the possibility that their results may not make it to the contact tracing team. A close contact is someone who has been within 6 feet of someone with the virus for more than 15 minutes, starting 48 hours before the onset of symptoms and lasting through the course of the sickness.
Health officials said that because of weekend reporting, county data on hospitalizations, emergency-room visits and ICU admissions will be available Tuesday.
Parkland Health & Hospital System said Monday that a baby girl born prematurely in May was the first case in Texas, and one of the first in the country, in which COVID-19 was transmitted from mother to child in the womb.
The infant, whose case is detailed in the September issue of The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, was born at Parkland Memorial Hospital at 34 weeks of gestation. Although she showed no immediate respiratory symptoms, she tested positive for COVID-19 after a day and later developed mild symptoms.
The mother’s placenta showed evidence of coronavirus infection, leading researchers to the conclusion that the child was infected in the womb.
The mother and child were discharged from the hospital in good condition after three weeks.
The hospital said in a written statement that out of more than 170 babies born to COVID-19-positive mothers as of Monday, only five have tested positive for the virus after birth.
Officials in Tarrant County reported 256 new coronavirus cases Monday, raising the county’s total to 38,016.
Of those cases, 36,239 are confirmed and 1,777 are probable, according to the county’s data.
No new deaths were reported, leaving the county’s COVID-19 toll at 459.
The county says that 381 patients remain hospitalized with the disease, while 29,362 have recovered.
Three more coronavirus deaths were reported Monday in Collin County, along with 168 new cases.
The latest victims were an 87-year-old Plano woman, an 80-year-old Wylie man and a 96-year-old Wylie woman.
Their deaths raise the county’s toll to 101. There have been 10,169 confirmed cases of the virus, with 128 patients still hospitalized and 5,437 people who have recovered.
Denton County reported 127 new COVID-19 cases Monday.
No new deaths were reported, leaving the county’s toll at 82.
There have been 8,427 coronavirus cases and 5,644 recoveries reported in the county. Forty-three patients were hospitalized as of Sunday.
The Texas Department of State Health Services has taken over reporting for other North Texas counties. Some may not report updates each day.
The latest numbers are:
- Rockwall County: 1,098 cases, 18 deaths.
- Kaufman County: 2,446 cases, 32 deaths.
- Ellis County: 3,255 cases, 51 deaths.
- Johnson County: 2,159 cases, 34 deaths.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.