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COVID-19 in DFW Nov. 22-29: State Outlines Who Will Receive Vaccine First

mural of nurse posed like Rosie the Riveter
LM Otero
/
Associated Press
A woman walks by a sign in Victory Park.

Vaccinating other front line workers is also a top priority. So is distributing a vaccine to vulnerable populations who are at greater risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19.

For the latest news on the pandemic, visit KERA's COVID-19 live updates page.

Saturday, Nov. 28

982 New Cases, 4 More Deaths In Dallas County

Of the 982 new cases reported in Dallas County today, 739 are confirmed and 243 are probable. There has been a cumulative total of 122,923 cases, including 1,204 confirmed deaths.

The county also reported four additional deaths confirmed to be related to the disease today. Those who died are described as:

  • A Lancaster man in his 60s
  • A Dallas man in his 70s
  • A Desoto man and woman in their 80s

All had underlying high-risk health conditions.
Denton County Reports 182 New Cases

Denton County is reporting 182 new cases of COVID-19 today, of which 143 are active cases. This increases the cumulative, countywide total to 23,276 cases, including 148 deaths.

Friday, Nov. 27

Southwest Prepares For Furloughs While Delta Pulls Back

Southwest Airlines has warned its unions their members could face the first furloughs in Southwest history if they don’t accept concessions in exchange for job security through 2021.

The Dallas-based airline says it's overstaffed by an estimated $1 billion.

The carrier has sent letters warning more than 1,900 workers that their jobs could be eliminated starting in late January unless the airline gets union concessions or more federal aid.

Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines has dropped a threat to furlough more than 1,700 pilots after they ratified a cost-cutting agreement.

The airline had planned to furlough about 13% of its 12,900 pilots on Saturday.

300 New Cases In Denton County

Denton County is reporting 305 new COVID-19 cases today, of which 226 are active cases. This increases the cumulative, countywide total to 23,094 cases, including 148 deaths.

The county will have a free drive-through COVID-19 testing center Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 8 a.m. at University of North Texas’ Discovery Park in Denton. Any Denton County resident who hasn't previously tested positive is eligible. Pre-registration is required, call 940-349-2585.

Boosted By Remote Learning, Dell Stock Continues 2020 Rise

Dell Technologies says it's benefitting from a larger share of people working and learning from home during the pandemic.

Tuesday, the Round Rock-based company posted a 3% bump in revenue for the third quarter of the fiscal year.

On a conference call, Chief Operating Officer Jeff Clarke said that's despite a decline in office orders for desktop computers.

"The PC is the essential device for this remote-everything-environment we are living in today as evidenced by the ongoing demand we are seeing for work and learn from home solutions," Clarke said.

Dell's stock is up more than 35% since the beginning of the year.

Wednesday, Nov. 25

Dallas County reports 1,368 New Cases

An additional 1,368 cases raises the total to 122,184. Of the cases reported today, 1,185 are confirmed and 183 are probable cases. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said it’s important to use online and curbside pick-up and to avoid get-togethers at home.

Six deaths were reported today including:

  • A Dallas woman in her 60s.
  • A Dallas man in his 60s.
  • A Coppell man in his 60s.
  • A Dallas man in his 70s.
  • A Dallas man in his 70s.
  • A DeSoto man in his 80s.

1,302 New Cases In Tarrant County

Another 1,302 cases were reported in the area, raising the total to 95,989. Three deaths were reported today including a Mansfield man in his 80s, a Fort Worth man in his 70s and an Arlington man in his 60s. All of the patients had underlying health conditions.

Denton County Reports 439 New Cases

There are 439 new cases in the county, bringing the total to 22,789. One death was reported today of a Lewisville man in his 50s.

A free drive-through COVID-19 testing center will be available on Tuesday, Dec.1 at University of North Texas’ Discovery Park at 3940 N Elm St in Denton. Eligible community members must reside in Denton County, pre-register by calling 940-349-2585, and have not previously tested positive for COVID-19. Pre-registration is required and appointments are available starting at 8 a.m.

246 New Cases In Collin County

Another 246 cases were reported today, bringing the total to 24,571. There have been 245 deaths in the county due to the virus.

El Paso County Judge Implements Nightly Curfew

El Paso’s County Judge has implemented a new nightly curfew, which is meant to control the spread of COVID-19 during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Judge Ricardo Samaniego announced the curfew on Tuesday]. It went into effect at midnight and lasts through Nov. 30:

“The curfew will be from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. The curfew addresses -- and I really want to be explicit on this — social and recreational activities,” he said.

It doesn’t apply to people going to businesses — including stores with extended hours for the holiday.

Still, Samaniego urged El Pasoans to stay home. He painted a grim picture of the situation on the ground, noting the county is now building a temporary morgue inside a warehouse to store an overflow of bodies.

Dallas Black Chamber Of Commerce President Says Congress Must Quickly Pass Another Coronavirus Aid Package

As the economic fallout from the pandemic continues, Congress is still negotiating another coronavirus aid package.

So far, Republicans and Democrats can't agree -- which means aid could be delayed until after President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration in January.

Harrison Blair is the president of the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce. He says for the nearly 12 million Americans who will lose benefits by the end of the year, there’s no time to waste.

“Congress needs to act -- and they need to act now,” he said. “I think if we’re going to invest in our fellow Americans, they need more than a one time payment. They need serious support.”

Roughly 3.8 million Texans have applied for unemployment relief since March.

Tarrant County To Extend Mask Mandate

Tarrant County will extend the county's mask mandate until February 2021.

The Fort Worth Star Telegram reports the Commissioners Court voted unanimously yesterday to extend both the mandate and declaration of disaster, which was issued in March.

Both were set to expire at the end of this month.

The decision comes after the county reported a record 9,838 cases in the past week -- surpassing another record set earlier this month.

Tuesday, Nov. 24

Dallas County Reports 1,716 New Cases

Another 1,716 cases were reported today: 1,516 are confirmed and 200 are probable cases. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said heading into Thanksgiving, residents should limit gatherings and in-person shopping:

“As the CDC, President Trump’s Task Force, and our local doctors have said before, please limit your Thanksgiving get-togethers to those who live in your home and forgo in-person shopping experiences and crowds. Online shopping this year for the holidays is the far safer option. Similarly, curbside pickup for groceries and other items is far safer than going inside the store.”

Seven deaths were reported today including: a Garland man in his 30s, a Mesquite man in his 60s, a Dallas woman in her 70s, a Lancaster man in his 70s, two Dallas women in their 80s, and a Dallas woman in her 90s.

414 New Cases In Denton County

There are 414 additional cases in the county, bringing the total to 22,351. There have been 173 newly-recovered cases in the area, increasing the countywide recovery total to 17,112.

A free drive-thru testing center will be available on Dec. 1 at University of North Texas’ Discovery Park at 3940 N Elm St in Denton. Eligible community members must reside in Denton County, pre-register by calling 940-349-2585, and have not previously tested positive for COVID-19. Pre-registration is required and appointments are available starting at 8 a.m.

Tarrant County Reports 1,710 New Cases

Another 1,710 cases were reported in the area, raising the total to 94,687. There have been 835 deaths in the county.

541 New Cases In Collin County

An additional 541 cases brings the total to 24,325. In the area, 21,139 people have recovered from the virus.

State Of Texas Outlines Who Will Receive COVID-19 Vaccine First

Texas is outlining who will be first in line to receive a COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available.

The new recommendations come from the state's Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel and were released yesterday.

The panel said protecting health care workers from the virus is vital. That includes doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and custodial staff.

Vaccinating other front line workers is also a top priority. So is distributing a vaccine to vulnerable populations who are at greater risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19.

Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement Texans will be able to choose whether they are immunized.

New Report Shows Caregivers Nationwide Feel Distressed

A new report shows caring for loved ones with a mental health condition is a stressful experience for many Americans.

A majority of caregivers nationwide — almost 70% — say they often feel distressed about how to manage all of their responsibilities.

More than half say they frequently struggle with being able to care for their own physical and mental health.

That’s according to a new report from the nonprofit Mental Health America. The group surveyed people who care for a family member or friend living with a mental health condition. They gathered more than 800 responses from October 2019 to May of this year. An overwhelming majority of survey respondents identified as female.

Many caregivers — about 6 in 10 — report facing arguments or conflicts with loved ones when making decisions about their care. Despite those challenges, most say they’re hopeful that their family member or friend will get better.

As the holiday season kicks off and the pandemic rages on, caregivers are feeling overwhelmed.

McKinney Implements First Virtual Criminal Jury Trials In Texas

To avoid a backlog of cases during the pandemic, McKinney is implementing the first virtual criminal jury trial program in Texas.

The Dallas Morning News reports the trials involve the city’s municipal courts that handle Class C misdemeanors.

Evidence in the virtual trials is presented online and witnesses can be called just like in-person trials.

Trials are also streamed live in accordance with the open courts provision.

The state has prohibited in-person jury trials until at least February 1.

Monday, Nov. 23

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins Warns Residents About Holiday Gatherings

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says Parkland's positivity rate for asymptomatic COVID-19 cases can help us better understand our risk going into the holiday season.

Parkland screens every patient for COVID, regardless of why they need the hospital. The test of asymptomatic patients is running at a 5% positivity rate or one positive for every 20 tests. During a Facebook Live address Monday, Jenkins applied that concept to upcoming Thanksgiving celebrations.

“If 20 people get together then it is statistically very likely that one of them will be an asymptomatic COVID shedding person,” he said.

There are 541 new cases in the area, bringing the total to 119,483. Seven deaths were reported today: a Garland man in his 40s, a Dallas woman in her 50s, a Dallas man in his 60s, a Lancaster woman in her 60s, a Grand Prairie man in his 60s, a Dallas woman in her 70s and a Dallas man in his 80s.

1,124 New Cases In Tarrant County

There have been 1,124 additional cases in the area, bringing the total to 92,977. There have been 830 deaths and 66,485 people who have recovered from the virus in the county.

Denton County Reports Record 484 New Cases

Another 484 cases raises the total to 21,937. The county reported one death today of a Flower Mound woman over 80, bringing the total to 147 deaths due to the virus in the area.

A free drive-thru COVID-19 testing center will be available on Tuesday, December 1 at University of North Texas’ Discovery Park at 3940 N Elm St in Denton. Eligible community members must reside in Denton County, pre-register by calling 940-349-2585, and have not previously tested positive for COVID-19. Pre-registration is required and appointments are available starting at 8 AM.

403 New Cases In Collin County

There are 403 more cases, increasing the total to 23,784. There have been 239 deaths and 20,753 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.

North Texas Superintendent Openly Defies State Mask Mandate

A North Texas superintendent is openly defying the Texas mask mandate in schools and the Texas Education Agency has declined to take action, saying it's up to local enforcement.

The Texas Tribune reports Lance Johnson, superintendent of the Peaster School District, 40 miles NW of Fort Worth, has made masks optional in his school district buildings and classrooms.

An order from the Governor says Texans in counties with more than 20 active COVID-19 cases must wear masks in businesses and buildings open to the public - including schools.

Parker County, where Peaster ISD is located, has about 315 active cases.

As more students return to in-person learning, the Irving school district is asking medically vulnerable teachers to return to the classroom.

More Fort Worth ISD Parents Opt For In-Person Learning

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that optional, in-person learning at the district began in late September and every six weeks parents have the option to send their kids back to in-person classes.

With more parents opting for in-person learning, the district told staff who were previously allowed to teach remotely that they need to come back to campus.

A spokeswoman said the district is working to provide a quality education to students while protecting the health and safety of its employees.

Sunday, Nov. 22

Tarrant County Reports 1,537 New Cases

Another 1,537 cases in the area brings the total to 91,853. There have been 830 deaths and 65,986 people who have recovered in the county.

690 New Cases In Collin County

There are 690 additional cases in the county, raising the total to 23,381. No additional deaths were reported today.

Read More: A Timeline Of COVID-19's Spread In North Texas

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