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COVID-19 In DFW Feb. 7-Feb. 13: Winter Weather Affects Vaccination Operations

Vaccine-makers are readying 190 million doses of the flu vaccine for deployment across the U.S. this fall — 20 million more doses than in a typical year. A nasal spray version will be available, as well as shots.
Associated Press
Vaccine-makers are readying 190 million doses of the flu vaccine for deployment across the U.S. this fall — 20 million more doses than in a typical year. A nasal spray version will be available, as well as shots.

Hospitalizations are also on the decline in the area.

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

Saturday, Feb. 13

Dallas County Reports 939 Cases, 8 Deaths

Dallas County Health and Human Services reported 939 new cases and eight deaths on Saturday. Of the new cases, 769 were confirmed and 170 were probable.

Tarrant County Reports 921 Cases, 17 Deaths

Tarrant County Public Health reported 921 new cases and 17 deaths on Saturday. Of those cases, 743 were confirmed and 178 were probable.

424 More Cases In Collin County, 8 Deaths

The state health department added 424 more cases to Collin County's total on Saturday. Eight deaths were added.

Denton County Reports 318 New Cases
On Saturday, Denton County reported 318 new cases and no deaths.

Friday, Feb. 12

Dallas County Reports 40 Deaths, 845 New Cases

The 40 deaths give the county a cumulative total of 2,604. The deaths reported Friday include people who ranged in age from their 30s to their 90s. Ten were residents of long-term care facilities, and all but four had underlying high-risk health conditions.

"While the number of cases reported today is lower, we are sadly once again reporting a high number of deaths," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said. "While hospitalizations remain elevated, they have dropped from record highs."

Tarrant County Reports 71 Deaths

The deaths included two from November, one in December, 61 in January, and seven from February. Tarrant County now has 2,625 deaths total and 197,725 people have recovered from the virus. The county also reported 920 new cases on Friday.

Denton County Reports Eight Deaths, 529 New Cases

The eight deaths give the county a total of 382. Friday's deaths included people who ranged in age from their 60s to their 80s. All but two of the deaths occurred at long-term care facilities.

Fair Park Vaccine Site Expected To Close Through The Weekend

Dallas' Fair Park mega-vaccine site will be closed from Saturday to Monday. The site was originally scheduled to be open on Sunday, but with wintry weather and hazardous road conditions forecast all weekend, the decision was made to close the site until Monday.

Additional closures after Monday may be possible, weather permitting.

According to a release from county officials, operations are moving back indoors to the Grand Building and medical staff will only be providing second doses to people who were scheduled to receive their second dose at Fair Park on Monday, Feb. 8 through Thursday, Feb. 11. Officials expect to have a sufficient supply of the vaccine to ensure those who need to get their second doses receive them, just a few days after originally scheduled.

Parkland Health Vaccination And Test Sites Will Close On Monday and Tuesday Because Of Weather

The Ellis Davis Field House (Dallas) and Eastfield Community College (Mesquite) vaccine drive-thru locations operated by Parkland Health will be closed on Monday and Tuesday because of weather. Parkland will contact patients who had appointments scheduled directly.

The vaccine clinics at Parkland Memorial Hospital and the Outpatient Clinic will also be closed on Monday, and those with appointments will also be contacted by Parkkland.

The COVID-19 walk-up testing sites at Sam Tasby Middle School in Dallas, Irving Health Center and West Dallas Multipurpose Center will also be closed through Tuesday and will re-open on Wednesday, Feb. 17.

Thursday, Feb. 11

Dallas County Reports 1,020 Additional Cases

There are 1,020 more cases, bringing the total to 238,774. Another 45 deaths were also announced today.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said vaccine distribution will be held up due to the inclement weather. He urged residents to look for updates on TV and social media:

“Our vaccine distribution this week has been hampered by logistical delays and now the weather. Please know that if you are seeking your second dose, we will get you that second dose as soon as possible. Please stay tuned to social media and the bottom scroll of your television for updates on when our vaccine operations will run during these the upcoming ice and snow storms.”

So far, Dallas County Health and Human Services has administered 43,281 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine at the Fair Park mega-vaccine clinic.

11 Deaths In Denton County

Eleven deaths in the area raises the total to 374 deaths:

  • A Denton man over 8o
  • A Denton man in his 60s
  • A Flower Mound man in his 70s
  • A Denton man in his 70s
  • A Corinth man in his 70s
  • A Dallas man over 80
  • A Frisco woman in her 70s
  • A Denton man in his 70s
  • A Denton woman over 80
  • A Denton woman in her 70s
  • A Denton man in his 70s.

Another 676 cases were reported in the area, bringing the total to 59,320. There have been 630 newly-recovered cases, increasing the countywide recovery total to 44,018.

Tarrant County Reports 1,034 New Cases

An additional 1,034 cases in the county brings the total to 233,326. There have been 2,554 deaths and 195,574 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.

Vaccine Sites Close Due To Weather

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced Thursday morning that the Fair Park vaccination site will close Thursday.

Collin County's vaccine hub at Plano ISD's John Clark Stadium is closed as well, and appointments are being rescheduled.

Denton County has closed the hub at Texas Motor Speedway and is rescheduling Thursday's appointments for next week.

Parkland Health and Hospital System announced that vaccine locations at Ellis Davis Field House and Eastfield Community College in Mesquite are closed Thursday through Monday. The hospital said those with appointments at those locations should instead go to Parkland Memorial Hospital at their scheduled date and time.

New Rental Assistance Program For Texans

Starting Monday, certain Texas renters will be able to apply for a one-billion-dollar assistance program.

"It's a new statewide program that is going to help income eligible Texans that are struggling to keep up with housing payments for the last year, help them pay off certain rent and utility costs," said Kristina Tirloni with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

Households must be at or below 80% of the area median income to qualify.

More details are at TexasRentRelief.com.

Wednesday, Feb. 10

Vaccination Sites Face Delays, Closures Due To Weather Conditions

Dallas County will try again today to open a multi-lane vaccine drive-through at Fair Park.

It was supposed to open yesterday, but a number of issues delayed that and caused another day of long wait times.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins told the Dallas Morning News the site had a temporary shortage of doses. Generators needed to adequately store the vaccine were missing. Also, delays from unauthorized appointments and an influx of people seeking their second COVID vaccine shots before cold weather sets in this week.

The Fair Park site's expected to open at noon today, but cold weather could complicate that plan.

Another drive-through vaccination site has already canceled appointments for tomorrow.

Denton County Public Health says the Texas Motor Speedway site won't operate tomorrow because of expected icy conditions. Appointments will be rescheduled for Friday afternoon.

Dallas County Reports 1,231 New Cases

Another 1,231 cases in the area raises the total 237,943. Of the cases reported today, 1,018 are confirmed. Today, 37 deaths were reported -- including the death of a Dallas man in his 20s.

“We received good news today that our site at Fair Park was selected as a federal mass vaccination site that will begin the week of February 22,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said. “Thank you to the Biden Administration for providing these much needed resources for our community, especially our hard hit areas.”

1,311 New Cases Reported In Tarrant County

There are 1,311 more cases, bringing the total to 232,292. There have been 2,529 deaths and 193,285 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.

15 Deaths In Denton County

Fifteen Denton residents have died due to COVID-19, bringing the total to 363 deaths:

  • A Frisco woman over 80
  • A Lewisville man in his 70s
  • A Lewisville man in his 70s
  • A Lewisville woman over 80
  • A Highland Village man in his 60s
  • A Lewisville man in his 50s
  • A Denton man over 80
  • A woman over 80 who was a resident of Anthology of Denton
  • A woman over 80 who was a resident of Brookdale Denton North
  • A man in his 50s who was a resident of Shady Shores
  • A Denton man in his 60s
  • A Denton woman in her 40s
  • A Denton man in his 50s
  • A Denton man in his 70s
  • A Denton woman over 80

There have been 726 additional cases, of which 673 are active cases. This increases the total to 58,644.

Trinity Metro Offers Free Transportation To Tarrant Vaccination Sites

Trinity Metro will offer free bus and train rides to COVID-19 vaccination sites in Tarrant County.

People will need to show proof of their appointment, such as the email or text sent from Tarrant County Public Health.

Free rides to Tarrant County sites in Hurst, Arlington and Fort Worth begin Monday. Those with appointments through Texas Health Resources will not be included for now.

State Representatives Call TEA To Waive Standardized Exams This Year Due To Pandemic

A coalition of state representatives wants the Texas Education Agency to give families the option to opt out of the state's standardized tests this year. They object to the requirement that students take the STAAR exams in person during a pandemic.

TEA waived the requirement that students pass the tests to be promoted to the next grade. But State Representative Diego Bernal of San Antonio says that doesn’t go far enough.

“A lot of parents don't know that they have the right or the ability to keep their kids home, or they might feel compelled or believe it's compulsory for their kids to go in,” Bernal said.

Bernal sent a letter to TEA requesting families be given a formal mechanism to opt out of STAAR this year. It was co-signed by 67 members of the Texas House.

Tuesday, Feb. 9

Dallas County Reports 30 Deaths, 1,303 New Cases

The deaths included that of a pregnant woman in her 20s and a woman in her 30s who had been reinfected with COVID-19 after recovering from the virus six months earlier. Other who died ranged in age from their 30s to their 100s. Six of the deaths were residents of long-term care facilities, and one was an inmate in a correctional facility in Dallas.

Dallas County now has 2,482 cumulative deaths from the virus.

Tarrant County Reports 36 Deaths

The deaths include people who ranged in age from under 10 years old to their 90s. All but two had underlying health conditions. Tarrant County now has a total of 2,509 deaths.

The county reported 893 new cases on Tuesday, and case counts have declined in recent days.

"I think today is the second day this week that we're below 1,000, and now it's gonna ebb and flow a little bit," said Tarrant County Public Health director Vinny Taneja.

Still, Taneja said COVID-19 deaths continue to rise, and hospital capacity remains limited. The latest report shows Tarrant County's adult ICU beds are 94% full.

Denton County Reports 681 Cases And Reschedules Drive-Thru Clinics Because Of Severe Weather

Because of icy conditions being forecast later this week, Denton County Public Health cancelled a vaccine clinic originally scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 11.

“We do not want to bring our residents out on icy roads or have our crews and volunteers working in below-freezing weather,” Judge Andy Eads said.

Those expecting to be vaccinated on Thursday will be scheduled for appointments on Friday instead, and those who are expecting their second doses should receive email or text messages from DCPH on Wednesday evening.

Denton County reported 681 new cases and no deaths on Tuesday.

AARP Texas Hosts Virtual Town Hall With Dallas Health Officials

On Friday, AARP Texas will host a town hall featuring Dr. Phillip Huang, director and health authority for the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department, and Dr. Namirah Jamshed, associate professor of internal medicine and family community medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The doctors will take questions related to COVID-19, vaccine distribution, and general wellness. To participate, sign up at https://vekeo.com/aarptexas/#event-33223.

To learn about other town hall events taking place elsewhere in the state, you can visit AARP's website.

Parkland Health Clarifies Its Appointment Process

In a bid to clarify incorrect information being posted on social media about the availability of vaccines at Parkland, the health system and hospital is reminding the general public that they cannot schedule an appointment with Parkland directly to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Parkland Health is providing vaccines only to its patients who fall under the state's 1B tier (those 65 and older and those over 16 who have high-risk health conditions). Any patient who fits this criteria would be contacted by Parkland with instructions on how to make an appointment. Anyone without an appointment will be turned away at Parkland Health or any of its drive-thru locations.

To register for a vaccine appointment through Dallas County, please visit the county vaccination registration page.

State Working With FEMA To Launch Vaccine Super Sites

Texas is working with FEMA to set up super sites for coronavirus vaccinations. The locations would be able to administer 5,000-6,000 doses per day, seven days a week, for eight weeks, according to Gov. Greg Abbott.

Abbott said on Twitter he expects two sites will be in Houston and Dallas. But, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg says the state should consider his city.

"San Antonio has shown throughout this pandemic that we have been able to innovate and step up where needed and right now we could operate a super site at this moment if we had the supplies to come in," he said. "So that's our message, as state leaders determine where these super sites go, San Antonio should be at the top of the list."

Abbott said once initial super sites are set up, they could expand to other locations.

Cecile Young Reappointed To Texas HHSC

Gov. Greg Abbott has reappointed Cecile Young as the Executive Commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission in Texas. Young was originally appointed to head HHSC, one of the largest agencies in Texas, last summer.

The agency employs nearly 37,000 people, and Young started leading it in August.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is responsible for licensing healthcare providers, providing Medicaid, food assistance, and other financial assistance. Amid the pandemic, COVID-19 assistance has been added to the list.

Cecile Young held several top roles at HHSC before Abbott appointed her Executive Commissioner, and has worked in state government for decades.

If Young's appointment is approved by the Texas Senate, her term will last through August 2023.

Monday, Feb. 8

Dallas County Reports 34 Deaths, 908 Cases

The 34 deaths give the county a total of 2,452 deaths. Monday's deaths include people who range in age from their 50s to their 100s. Three of them were residents of long-term care facilities, all but five had underlying high-risk health conditions.

Tarrant County Reports 15 Deaths

The deaths include a man from Arlington who exceeded 90, a woman from Crowley who exceeded 90, a woman from Grand Prairie in her 80s, two women from Fort Worth in their 70s, a woman from Bedford in her 70s, a man from Grapevine in his 70s, a man from Benbrook in his 70s, three men from Fort Worth in their 60s, two men from Arlington in their 60s, a man from Forest Hill in his 50s, and a woman from White Settlement in her 40s. All had underlying health conditions.

Tarrant County now has 2,473 confirmed deaths from the COVID-19 virus and 189,861 people have recovered.

Denton County Reports Four Deaths

The four deaths were people who ranged in age from their 60s to 80s. There have been a total of 348 deaths in Denton County. The county also reported 611 new confirmed positive cases and 993 newly recovered cases of COVID-19.

Texas COVID-19 Hospitalizations Continue To Decline

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Texas fell again Sunday after dipping below 10,000 for the first time since December on Saturday.

There were 9,652 people in Texas hospitals with confirmed cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus Sunday, according to the Department of State Health Services. That’s the lowest figure recorded since Dec. 16.

State health officials reported 5,278 new, confirmed cases of the virus Sunday, 1,499 probable cases and 167 more fatalities. Texas has reported 38,643 COVID-19 deaths and more than 2.16 million cases since the pandemic began.

The actual number of cases is believed to be far higher because many people haven’t been tested and some who get sick don’t show symptoms.

Over the past week, more than 16% of COVID-19 tests in Texas have come back positive, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Homeless Shelters Face Challenges Because Of COVID-19

Testing for COVID-19 has been a challenge for homeless shelters.

They need to make sure people admitted aren't sick with the coronavirus. But standard lab test results take days to get, so people have to wait for that same amount of time to secure a shelter spot.

Carl Falconer with the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance said the alliance has managed to obtain 6,000 rapid antigen tests from the state that show results in just 15 minutes.

"We can get people tested with these rapid test kits, and get them immediately into emergency shelter to fill up the beds for people who wanted to get into shelter," Falconer said.

Three organizations serve as testing sites: Our Calling, Family Gateway, and the Family Place.

Sunday, Feb. 7

Dallas County Reports 1,019 New Cases

An additional 1,019 cases raises the total to 235,040. Of the cases reported today, 830 are confirmed.

Eleven deaths were reported today:

  • A Dallas man in his 40s.
  • A Dallas woman in his 50s.
  • Two Dallas women in their 60s.
  • A Dallas man in his 70s.
  • A Sunnyvale man in his 70s.
  • A Grand Prairie man in his 70s.
  • A Mesquite man in his 80s.
  • A Dallas man in his 80s.
  • A Dallas man in his 80s.
  • A Dallas woman in her 90s.

A total of 420 children in Dallas County under 18 have been hospitalized since the beginning of the pandemic. There are currently 102 long-term care facilities in the area where COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported.

991 New Cases In Tarrant County

Another 991 cases increases the total to 220,029. There have been 2,458 deaths and 188,153 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.

Collin County Reports 263 New Cases

There are 263 additional cases in the area — that makes the total 65,423. Two deaths were reported today, bringing the total deaths to 627.

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

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