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COVID-19 In DFW Jan. 17-Jan. 23: Vaccination Efforts Ramp Up In North Texas

COVID-vaccine.jpeg
David Goldman
/
Associated Press
A droplet falls from a syringe after a health care worker was injected with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Women & Infants Hospital in Providence, R.I., Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020.

Several counties work to get the vaccine out to underserved populations, and the City of Dallas also gets its own allotment of vaccines directly.

For the latest on the pandemic in North Texas, visit KERA News' COVID-19 Live Updates page.

Saturday, Jan. 23

1,920 New Cases & 21 More Deaths In Dallas County

The 1,920 new cases, of which 1,525 are confirmed, brings the total case count countywide to 216,968, including 1,996 deaths.

"As we have said for weeks, January and February will be our darkest months," Dallas County Judge said on Twitter. "This week is our deadliest week thus far."

The 21 additional deaths reported today ranged from people in their 40s to their 90s. All but two had underlying high-risk health conditions.

Over 2,100 New Cases In Tarrant County

There 2,155 new cases in Tarrant County today, bringing the cumulative case count to 205,329. There have been 2,012 total deaths related to the disease reported in the county.

Denton County Report 217 New Cases

Denton County reports 217 new cases today, of which 186 are active cases. This increases the cumulative, countywide total to 49,816.

There have been 283 deaths reported in the county.

Friday, Jan. 22

Dallas County Reports 2,065 New Cases & 31 Deaths

The 31 deaths gives the county a total of 1,975 deaths. It is the second-highest daily number of deaths that has been reported in the county since the pandemic began. Friday's deaths include:

  • A woman in her 40s from Grand Prairie.
  • Two women in their 50s from Dallas.
  • A woman in her 50s from Grand Prairie.
  • A man in his 50s from Mesquite.
  • A man in his 50s from Dallas.
  • A woman in her 60s from Dallas.
  • Two men in their 60s from Dallas.
  • A man in his 60s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in Garland.
  • Four men in their 70s from Dallas.
  • A woman in her 70s from Dallas.
  • A woman in her 70s from Garland.
  • A man in his 70s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in Mesquite.
  • A woman in her 70s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in Dallas.
  • A woman in her 80s from Dallas.
  • A woman in her 80s from Mesquite.
  • A woman in her 80s from University Park.
  • A man in his 80s from Garland.
  • A man in his 80s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in Dallas.
  • A woman in her 80s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in Dallas.
  • A woman in her 80s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in Garland.
  • A woman in her 80s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in Mesquite.
  • A man in his 90s from Dallas.
  • Two men in his 90s who were a residents of long-term care facilities in Mesquite.
  • A man in his 90s from Grand Prairie.
  • A woman in her 90s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in Dallas.

Three more cases of the more contagious variant of COVID-19 (B.1.1.7) have been found in Dallas County, bringing that total to four.

As of Friday, 18,859 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered at the Fair Park vaccination site, and Dallas County Health and Human Services is expecting another 9,000 doses from the state for next week.

Tarrant County Reports 1,864 New Cases

The new cases increase the countywide total to 203,174. Tarrant County also reported 38 additional deaths after its weekly reconciliation of COVID-19 statistics with the state's database. Twelve of these deaths were in December and 26 from January.

The county now has a total of 1,991 deaths.

Denton County Reports 15 Deaths And 656 New Cases

The 15 deaths are a daily record for the county, which now has a total of 283 deaths. The deaths include:

  • A woman in her 80s from Lewisville.
  • A man in his 80s from Flower Mound.
  • A woman in her 80s who was a resident of Rosewood Assisted Living in Flower Mound.
  • A woman in her 70s from Fort Worth.
  • A woman in her 70s who was a resident of Lake Village Nursing and Rehab in Lewisville.
  • A man in his 60s from Corinth.
  • A woman in her 80s who was a resident of Prestonwood Court in Plano.
  • A woman in her 70s from Frisco.
  • A woman in her 70s from Little Elm.
  • A woman in her 80s who was a resident of Prestonwood Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Carrollton.
  • A man in his 80s from unincorporated southeast Denton County.
  • Two men in their 80s from Carrollton.
  • A man in his 70s who was a resident of Landing at Watermere Frisco
  • A woman in her 80s from unincorporated northeast Denton County.

The county also announced 656 new cases, of which 555 are active cases. This increases the cumulative, countywide total to 49,600 COVID-19 cases. Denton County also reported 423 newly recovered cases, increasing the countywide recovery total to 34,274.

Mayor Eric Johnson Announces State Will Directly Provide Vaccines To City Of Dallas

Mayor Eric Johnson on Friday announced that the state will directly provide the City of Dallas with 5,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, which will be administered by Dallas Fire-Rescue paramedics.

“I am excited and ready to get these highly effective, life-saving vaccines to the public,” Mayor Johnson said. “As I have said, the City of Dallas is ready to help the state take its vaccination efforts to the next level. We will do so equitably, efficiently, and without political influence.”

Vaccines will be distributed in a drive-through at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and one day on the weekend.

Eligible residents will be pulled from the Dallas County Health and Human Services registration database. They’ll be contacted by the City of Dallas to schedule an appointment time at the convention center.

Demographic information and ZIP codes will be recorded during the check-in process. Those vaccinated will also be provided with information about receiving a second dose at a future date.

Dallas Mayor Approves Vaccination Hubs In Underserved Areas

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson has approved a plan to set up COVID-19 vaccine registration hubs in underserved areas of the city.

It's intended to help people who can't register themselves on Dallas County's online registration site.

The city's Emergency Management Coordinator will determine the exact locations of the hubs.

Rocky Vaz will do this by analyzing data about internet accessibility, computer availability, and the vulnerability of populations in the city's ZIP codes.

Arlington Rep. Ron Wright Tests Positive

Arlington congressman Ron Wright has tested positive for COVID-19.

A statement from Wright said he received the news yesterday following exposure to an infected person last week.

He's been quarantined since last Friday and will remain so until doctors clear him.

Wright said he's experiencing minor symptoms but, generally, felt good and will continue to work while in quarantine.

Thursday, Jan. 21

Dallas County Reports 1,978 New Cases

Another 1,978 cases were reported today, 1,412 are confirmed and 566 are probable cases. That brings the total to 213,600.

As of Thursday morning, 16,979 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered at the Fair Park mega-vaccine clinic. There are approximately 1,800 doses remaining for the week.

Twenty-seven deaths were reported today:

  • A Dallas woman in her 30s.
  • Two Dallas men in their 50s
  • A Cockrell Hill man in his 50s.
  • A Dallas man in his 50s.
  • A Mesquite man in his 60s.
  • A Dallas man in his 60s.
  • A Rowlett man in his 60s.
  • A Cedar Hill woman in her 60s.
  • Two Dallas men in their 60s.
  • Two Dallas women in their 70s.
  • A Lancaster man in his 70s.
  • A Dallas woman in her 70s.
  • A Dallas man in his 70s.
  • A Grand Prairie man in his 70s.
  • A Dallas woman in her 70s.
  • A Grand Prairie woman in her 70s.
  • A Dallas man in his 80s.
  • A Garland man in his 80s.
  • A Garland woman in her 80s.
  • A Richardson woman in her 80s.
  • An Irving woman in her 80s.
  • A Mesquite woman in her 90s.
  • A Grand Prairie woman in her 90s.
  • A Dallas woman in her 90s.

1,789 New Cases In Tarrant County

An additional 1,789 cases raises the total to 201,310. There have been 1,953 deaths and 146,049 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.

Denton County Reports 3 Deaths

Three deaths were reported today, including a Corinth man in his 60s, a Flower Mound woman over 80 and woman in her 70s who was a resident of Autumn Leaves of North Carrollton at Castle Hills.

Another 750 cases were reported today, bringing the total to 48,945. The county also reported 242 newly-recovered cases, increasing the countywide recovery total to 33,854.

Collin County Opens More Vaccine Hubs

Collin County has opened four COVID-19 vaccine hubs this week.

One now at the Collin County Health Care Services clinic in McKinney will relocate to Plano's John Clark Stadium next week.

The McKinney ISD football stadium and Allen ISD football stadium will also serve as vaccine hubs, along with the Baylor Scott & White Health facility in Frisco.

Collin County and its partner agencies have the capacity to administer 6,000 vaccine doses per day at each location.

Dallas County Commissioners Rescind Plan Prioritizing Hardest-Hit Neighborhoods For Vaccinations

Dallas County Commissioners have changed their minds about targeting vaccine distribution to communities of color.

They voted last night to rescind an earlier-approved plan to prioritize distributing vaccines to residents of certain ZIP codes, mainly Black and Latino neighborhoods.

The state threatened to reduce the county's vaccine allotment by thousands of doses if the plan went forward. Officials also threatened to drop Dallas County as a vaccine distribution hub.

The state says hub providers can't limit vaccinations to people who live in areas hardest hit by the coronavirus.

Wednesday, Jan. 20

Dallas County Reports 3,469 New Cases, 30 Deaths

There are 3,469 additional cases in the area, the second highest daily case count reported to date. Today’s cases raise the total to 212,188. Of the cases reported, 3,197 are confirmed and 272 are probable cases.

As of Wednesday morning, 14,850 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered at the Fair Park mega-vaccine clinic. There are a little over 3,000 doses remaining for the week.

Thirty deaths were reported today:

  • A Garland woman in her 50s.
  • A Mesquite man in his 50s.
  • A Rowlett man in his 50s.
  • A Glenn Heights woman in her 60s.
  • A Dallas man in his 60s.
  • Two Garland women in their 60s.
  • A Wilmer man in his 60s.
  • A Rowlett man in his 60s.
  • A Dallas man in his 70s.
  • A Garland man in his 70s.
  • Two Dallas women in their 70s.
  • A Mesquite man in his 70s.
  • Two Dallas men in their 70s.
  • A Richardson woman in her 70s.
  • A Garland man in his 70s.
  • A Rowlett woman in her 70s.
  • A Richardson woman in her 70s.
  • A Grand Prairie man in his 80s.
  • A Cedar Hill woman in her 80s.
  • A Farmers Branch man in his 80s.
  • A Mesquite woman in her 80s.
  • A Garland woman in her 80s.
  • An Irving man in his 80s.
  • A Mesquite man in his 80s.
  • A Dallas man in his 80s.
  • A Dallas woman in her 90s.
  • A Mesquite woman in her 90s.

8 Deaths In Denton County

Eight deaths were reported today, bringing the total to 265 deaths including:

  • A woman over 80 who was a resident of Lake Village Nursing and Rehab in Lewisville
  • A woman over 80 who was a resident of Lake Village Nursing and Rehab in Lewisville
  • A man over 80 who was a resident of The Oaks at Flower Mound
  • A Colony man over 80
  • A Carrollton male in his 70s
  • A woman over 80 who was a resident of Hollymead in Flower Mound
  • An Argyle man in his 60s
  • A man over 80 who was a resident of Prairie Estates in Frisco

Another 861 cases were reported in the county, increasing the total to 48,196.

Tarrant County Announces 2,074 New Cases

An additional 2,074 cases brings the total to 199,521. There have been 1,927 deaths and 143,731 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.

Some Texans Remain Hesitate To Receive COVID-19 Vaccine, According To Health Experts

Public health experts say many groups remain hesitant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Allison Winnike heads the Immunization Partnership, a Houston-based non-profit.

At a press conference yesterday, she said medical experts estimate at least 70% of Texans need to get vaccinated to curb the pandemic while ending the pandemic would require closer to 94%.

"But with these problems with trust, messaging, vaccine availability, distribution and access, these are real hurdles that we need to address.”

A recent Episcopal Health Foundation poll found one in five Texans say they're “very unlikely” to get the vaccine.

Dallas County To Prioritize Vaccinating Residents In Black And Brown Neighborhoods

Dallas County Health and Human Services said it plans to prioritize residents in predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods for the COVID-19 vaccine at Fair Park.

That's after early data showed many shots were going to residents from white and affluent neighborhoods.

The neighborhoods prioritized are all located below I-30. But the Dallas Morning News reports people in those areas still have to meet the state's broader criteria, and still have to register through the county to receive a vaccine.

Tarrant County To Vaccinate Residents In Top 10 Most Affected Zipcodes

Meanwhile, Tarrant County will prioritize vaccinating people in the ten ZIP codes most affected by coronavirus.

Public health director Vinny Taneja said health officials hope vaccinating people in these ZIP codes will reduce the outbreak.

People who are 65 or older or have an underlying health condition from the ZIP codes will jump to the front of the line.

Tuesday, Jan. 19

Dallas County Reports 1,589 Cases, Including One Of The More Contagious Variant Of COVID-19

The first case of the more contagious COVID-19 variant (B.1.1.7) that was first discovered in the United Kingdom was also identified in a resident of Dallas County. The person did not have a record of traveling outside the United States.

The 16 deaths bring the countywide total to 1,887. The deaths include:

  • A man in his 40s from Irving.
  • A woman in her 50s from Mesquite.
  • Two men in their 50s from Dallas.
  • A woman in her 60s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in Richardson.
  • A woman in her 60s from Hutchins.
  • A man in his 60s from Dallas.
  • Two women in their 70s from Dallas.
  • A man in his 70s from Garland.
  • Two men in their 80s from Grand Prairie.
  • Two women in their 80s from Dallas.
  • A man in his 80s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in Garland.

Dallas County Health and Human Services is providing initial vaccinations to those most at risk of exposure to COVID-19. As of Tuesday morning, 12,122 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered at the Fair Park mega-vaccine clinic. With the additional allotment from the State of Texas, there are approximately 6,000 doses remaining for the week ahead.

Updated modeling from UT Southwestern predicts that Dallas County could have up to 1,440 hospitalized patients and 2,700 new daily cases by January 29, according to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

"In addition, they show that physical distancing, mask wearing and other prevention measures have decreased transmission of COVID-19 about 65%," Jenkins said. "This is encouraging, but we must remain vigilant in our efforts to stop and slow the spread of this virus, since they also show that hospitalizations have increased 53% compared to one month ago."

Tarrant County Reports 12 Deaths And Now Has The Highest Countywide Death Total In The Area

The 12 deaths increase the number of countywide deaths to 1,904. This is the highest countywide total in the North Texas area (including Dallas, Collin, and Denton counties).

The deaths included two men from Arlington in their 60s, two women from Arlington in their 70s, a man from Arlington in his 80s, a woman from Bedford in her 80s, a woman from Crowley in her 60s, a woman from Fort Worth in her 50s, a man from Fort Worth in his 70s, a man from Hurst in his 70s, a woman from Richland Hills in her 80s, and a man from Sansom Park in his 40s.

Denton County Reports Eight Deaths

The county now has a total of 257 deaths. The deaths include:

  • A woman in her 70s from unincorporated southeast Denton County.
  • A woman in her 80s from unincorporated southeast Denton County.
  • A man in his 80s who was a resident of Cedar Crest in Lewisville.
  • A man in his 50s from Corinth.
  • A woman in her 70s who was a resident of Brinker Denton SCC in Denton.
  • A man in his 70s who was a resident of Pilot Point Care Center in Pilot Point.
  • A man in his 80s from unincorporated northwest Denton County.
  • A woman in her 80s from Northlake.

State Opens More Vaccination Hubs

Texas has increased the number of ‘mass vaccination hubs’ in the state from 28 to 79, including 15 in hubs North Texas.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been instructed to ship large amounts of the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to all 79 of these providers, says the Texas Department of State Health Services.

In addition to the hubs, DSHS is distributing doses of the vaccine to an additional 181 providers at hospitals, doctors’ offices and long-term health facilities across the state. DSHS announced on Saturday, that the state will receive 333,650 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, as part of their Week 6 rollout beginning January 18th.

Read the full story.

Doctor Puts Out New Forecast For COVID In North Texas

Researchers with the Policy Lab at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have been tracking the spread of COVID-19 on the county level since the pandemic began. Dr. David Rubin leads the Policy Lab's forecasting team, and said the outlook for North Texas shows coronavirus case numbers will continue to climb.

That is, if current social distancing measures don't improve.

He said COVID fatigue is partially to blame, leading people to resume normal activities without taking proper precautions.

But Rubin says there are signs that hospitalizations are starting to flatten out.

"Although the rates are really high in the Dallas area, but I suspect, you know, the goal right now is to reduce the strain on your hospitals," he said. "And I suspect there's some evidence there that that's beginning to happen."

Rubin said as Texas continues vaccinating the elderly and those at higher risk, there will be a shift in who the virus is effecting most. Specifically, he said there could be a higher rate of working age adults contracting the virus — people who typically have better health outcomes when they get sick.

Texas Lawmaker Tests Positive In First Week Of Legislative Session

A state lawmaker from southeast Texas tested positive for COVID-19 within the first week of the new legislative session.

Texas Tribune executive editor Ross Ramsey told public radio's Texas Standard the state House is not requiring members to test for COVID before entering the House chamber.

“Some members don't think they should have to take them, some members don't require masks in their own offices, although masks are required in the Capitol,” he said. “There's still some political difference over this disease, and it's deeply reflected in that political building."

Ramsey believes lawmakers might pass fewer bills this session because of issues related to COVID-19.

Dallas ISD Makes Efforts To Free Up Teachers' Time, Some Remain Skeptical

The Dallas School District wants to relieve overworked teachers from growing responsibilities stemming from COVID-19.

The Dallas Morning News reports a plan recently presented to the board is designed to free more time for teachers to focus on student instruction.

That includes trimming down professional development, giving campuses more autonomy over mandated bi-weekly assignments and hiring a third-party to provide emergency classroom coverage for COVID-related staff absences.

DISD also will spend $150,000 to create an "engagement team" that will conduct door-to-door visits with chronically absent students.
However, the president of a local teachers association doubts any of that will provide much relief.

Rena Honea said teachers would benefit more from not having to teach in-person and virtual learners simultaneously.

Sunday, Jan. 17

Dallas County Reports 1,377 New Cases, 13 Deaths

There are 1,377 new cases, bringing the total to 207,640 confirmed cases. Of the cases reported today, 1,311 are confirmed and 66 are probable cases.

As of Sunday morning, 12,122 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered at the Fair Park mega-vaccine clinic. There will be approximately 6,000 doses remaining for the week ahead.

Thirteen deaths were reported today:

  • A Dallas woman in her 40s.
  • A Dallas man in his 50s.
  • A Mesquite man in his 50s.
  • A Dallas woman in her 60s.
  • A Dallas man in his 60s.
  • A Garland man in his 60s.
  • A Dallas woman in her 60s.
  • A Balch Springs woman in her 70s.
  • Two Dallas men in their 70s.
  • A Dallas woman in her 70s.
  • A Lancaster man in his 70s.
  • A Dallas man in his 80s.

1,611 New Cases In Tarrant County

Another 1,611 cases raises the total to 192,497. There have been 1,852 total deaths and 138,284 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.

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

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