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COVID-19 In DFW May 3-May 9: Vaccine Demand Falls Across Texas

A female nurse gives a man a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine in his left arm.
Stella M. Chávez
/
KERA News
Robert Henley, 64, of Ennis gets his first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine in Waxahachie. The vaccination event was organized by Baylor Scott & White Health.

More pop-up sites are being opened, and mobile teams are also being dispatched, but distribution is changing because of lessened demand.

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

Saturday, May 8

Dallas County Reports 178 New Cases, 3 Deaths

The additional deaths reported Saturday give Dallas County a cumulative total of 3,928. All three deaths reported Saturday were people in their 50s with underlying health conditions.

Tarrant County Reports 156 New Cases

Tarrant County now has a cumulative total of 258,115 cases of COVID-19. County officials also report 250,695 people have recovered.

Friday, May 7

Dallas County Reports 229 Cases, Four Deaths

The four deaths brings the total deaths in Dallas County to 3,925. The deaths reported Friday included people who ranged in age from their 60s to their 90s, and all had underlying high-risk health conditions. One person had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine but had multiple underlying health conditions.

Tarrant County Reports 110 Cases, Eight Deaths

The deaths reported Friday include a man from Fort Worth who exceeded 90, a man from White Settlement in his 80s, a woman from Euless in her 80s, a woman from Arlington in her 80s, a man from Arlington in his 60s, a man from Fort Worth in his 50s, a woman from Watauga in her 50s, and a man from Arlington in his 40s. All had underlying health conditions.

Tarrant County now has 3,438 confirmed deaths and 250,486 people have recovered.

Denton County Reports 92 Cases

Of the 92 cases reported Friday, 67 are active cases. Another 96 recoveries were reported, for a total of 70,997. Denton County has a total of 495 deaths.

Texas DSHS Encourages Pediatric Health Care Providers To Enroll In State's Vaccine Program

In preparation for the emergency authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for adolescents, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is asking pediatric health care providers to enroll in the state's vaccine program.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 12 to 15 years old, a decision that could come by some time early next week. The vaccine is currently authorized only for people age 16 and older.

“Vaccinating adolescents will bring us closer to ending the pandemic and getting back to normal,” said DSHS Commissioner John Hellerstedt. “Starting the enrollment process now will enable pediatric providers to start vaccinating their patients soon after the FDA expands the Pfizer vaccine’s EUA.”

DFW Airport Faces Worker Shortage Heading Into Summer

A shortage of workers at DFW Airport could hamper summer travel recovery.
Restaurants and retailers at the airport told the Dallas Morning News they're struggling to hire workers for concessions closed during the pandemic.

They point to a mix of better unemployment benefits, pandemic fear and a child care shortage.

DFW Airport needs to fill hundreds of understaffed positions to keep up with summer demand. They expect traffic to be about 85% of the levels seen before the pandemic.

Thursday, May 6

Dallas County Reports 242 Cases, Three Deaths

The three deaths give Dallas County a total of 3,921. The deaths reported Thursday include people who ranged in age from their 80s to their 90s, and all three had underlying health conditions.

According to county judge Clay Jenkins, almost 50% of the eligible population in the county (people 16 and older), has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Tarrant County Reports 240 Cases, Three Deaths

The deaths reported Thursday include a man and a woman from Arlington in their 80s, and a woman from Hurst in her 60s. All had underlying health conditions. Tarrant County now has 3,430 confirmed deaths and 257,849 people have recovered.

Denton County Reports 95 Cases

Of the 95 cases reported Thursday, 83 are active cases. Denton County also reported 94 newly recovered cases, increasing that total to 70,902 recoveries. There have been a total of 495 deaths in the county.

Love Field Launches Testing And Vaccine Site

The site at Love Field will primarily be for passengers traveling to places that need proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival. Vaccine distribution will also be limited, and will only be for airport personnel at the outset.

The pop-up site is located at Love Field's ticketing wing, across from the Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines counters, and is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.

Those who want a test must register ahead of time with MCI Diagnostic Center at mcicovid.com. Walk-ups will be turned away.

City Of Dallas To Host Pop-Up Vaccination Sites

Mayor Eric Johnson announced on Thursday that the city of Dallas will host four pop-up vaccination clinics over the weekend.

The clinics will offer Moderna vaccines and no appointment is required. Available locations and times:

  • May 7-8, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.: Galleria Dallas (Ice Rink Level), 13350 Dallas Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75240
  • May 7, 6 a.m.-9 a.m. & 3 p.m.-6 p.m.: Omni Hotel, 555 S Lamar St, Dallas, TX 75202 — Note: this event is intended to help vaccinate downtown hospitality workers.
  • May 8, 10 a.m.- 7 p.m.: Valenceo @ Midtown Apartments, 7222 Fair Oaks Ave, Dallas, TX 75231
  • May 8, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.: Bx5 Apartments, 9669 Forest Ln, Dallas, TX 75243

The Potter's House will also remain open for vaccinations and no appointments are required. The city is continuing its in-home vaccination program to reach homebound residents. To schedule an in-home vaccination, residents can email mobilevaccine@dallascityhall.com.

State Vaccine Call Center Launched To Connect Groups With Mobile Vaccine Teams

Beginning Friday, May 7, businesses, disability organizations or civic organizations can call the center at (844)-90-TEXAS — (844) 908-3927 — and select option 3 to request a visit from a state mobile vaccine team. To qualify for a visit, a group must have 10 or more employees, visitors, or members who voluntarily choose to be vaccinated. Homebound Texans can also call the hotline and choose option 1 to have a mobile team come to their home.

Texas Department Of State Health Services Lets Providers Order Vaccine Doses, Moves Away From Allocating Them

With the supply of COVID-19 vaccine regularly exceeding demand, the Texas DSHS will fill vaccine orders from providers as orders come in or place orders with the Centers for Disease Control on a daily basis. This is a shift from previous weeks, when providers got a set allocation fo vaccines on a weekly basis.

“This is a big step in vaccine distribution,” said Imelda Garcia, DSHS associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services, in a press release. “The ability to ship vaccine to pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and other providers as they need it will go a long way to making sure it is available when and where Texans want to be vaccinated.”

More information on the vaccine, including tools to locate providers, is available at covidvaccine.texas.gov.

More than 11.3 million people have received at least one dose, and over 8.3 million are now fully vaccinated. More than half of all eligible Texans have gotten a dose of vaccine, and about 37 percent are fully vaccinated.

New UT/Texas Tribune Poll Shows Texans Slowly Returning To Normal

Confidence in rising vaccination rates and flatting COVID-19 case levels mean Texans are slowly returning to normal.

A new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll says only 23% of Texas voters say they are still staying home unless absolutely necessary. That's compared to 72% this time last year.

Given a list of activities to choose from, respondents say they are comfortable with grocery shopping and outdoor concerts, while movies, indoor sports, concerts and bars remain out of bounds.

Allen ISD To Make Mask-Wearing Optional, Focus On In-Person Learning

Allen ISD Superintendent Robin Bullock announced new changes earlier this week to the district's COVID-19 protocols for the 2021-2022 school year.

Beginning July 1, the school district plans to make mask-wearing optional for students and staff. The district also said that they will focus on in-person classes. No at-home, online options will be available.

Wednesday, May 5

President Biden Sets Goal To Get Majority Of Americans Vaccinated

President Biden wants 70% of Americans to have gotten at least one vaccine dose by July Fourth.

Demand for vaccines has dropped off markedly nationwide, with some states leaving more than half their vaccine doses unordered.

Biden's calling for states to make vaccines available on a walk-in basis and will direct many pharmacies to do likewise.

Pfizer Says FDA Will Soon Authorize COVID-19 Vaccine For 12-15 Age Group

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 12 to 15 years old, a decision that could come by some time early next week. The vaccine is currently authorized only for people age 16 and older.

A ruling should come "shortly," Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla told investors in a conference call Tuesday morning.

Read the full story from NPR.

Dallas County Reports 209 New Cases

Another 209 additional cases brings the total to 258,130. Five deaths were reported today:

  • A Dallas man in his 60s.
  • An Irving woman in her 60s.
  • An Irving woman in her 80s.
  • An Irving man in his 80s.
  • A Dallas woman in her 90s.

A total of 3,918 people have died from the virus in the county. The county also reported . There two more cases of the B.1.1.7 variant that originated in the United Kingdom and one case of the B.1.526 variant that originated in New York City.

Tarrant County Reports 2 Additional Deaths

There are two additional COVID-19-related deaths in Tarrant County today. The residents whose deaths were reported today are a Benbrook man in his 50s, and an Arlington man in his 20s. Both had underlying health conditions.

Tarrant County's had a total of 257,609 cases, including 3,427 confirmed deaths — 250,028 people have recovered.

4 Deaths & 116 New Cases In Denton County

The four deaths reported today bring the countywide pandemic total to 495. There have been 74,696 cases in the county.

The residents whose deaths were reported today were in their 30s, 50s, 70s and 80s.

A total of 70,808 county residents have recovered from the disease.

Protecting New COVID Vaccine Technologies

Ambassadors from World Trade Organization (WTO) countries are set to discuss trade rules protecting the technological know-how behind COVID vaccines.

The WTO’s General Council's agenda for today's meeting includes a waiver on intellectual property protections for vaccines.

South Africa and India first proposed the idea in October as a way to help developing countries fight the pandemic.

Plano's J.C. Penney Cutting Jobs

The new owners of J.C. Penney have cut 650 jobs in stores, field operations and corporate.

The Dallas Morning News reports the reductions followed months of operational reviews by Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management. The two companies bought Penney when it exited bankruptcy in December.

About 100 of those jobs were from the retailer's corporate staff of 3,500 people — now temporarily-based in Lewisville. The cuts include open positions.

The company said employees were offered alternative positions when possible.

Read the full story from The Dallas Morning News.

Tuesday, May 4

Carroll ISD Votes To End Mask Mandate

The Carroll School Board has unanimously voted to end the district's mask mandate next month.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports students and staff members can choose whether to wear a mask starting June 1.

Carroll's superintendent said a task force recommended the June 1 date, because lifting the mandate sooner would disrupt the STAAR test — when all students have to be in school.

A survey the school administered showed about half of parents and students wanted to keep the mask mandate.

Dallas Public Libraries Reopen

Dallas Public Library branches reopened on Tuesday after temporarily closing due to the pandemic. However, services are limited.

There are two different options to check out a book: grab and go or curbside pick up.

Jo Giudice, the city's library director, said the options are designed to limit the amount of time spent in the library.

“Basically, we want you to be able to come in and look and pick things but we really don't want you to linger and stay all day,” he said.

Giudice said libraries will follow COVID-19 safety guidelines, which includes capacity limitations and mask requirements.

Dallas County Reports 140 New Cases

Another 140 additional cases raises the total to 258,004. Four deaths were reported today:

  • A Duncanville man in his 50s.
  • A Duncanville man in his 70s.
  • An Irving man in his 70s.
  • A Dallas woman in her 70s.

The total number of deaths is now 3,913. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins urged residents to head to Fair Park for vaccinations.

2 Deaths In Denton County

There are two additional deaths in the area, including a woman in her 70s who’s a resident of Red Bird Manor in Sanger and a Flower Mound woman in her 70s.

An additional 95 cases were also reported in the county, bringing the total to 74,580.

Tarrant County Announces 97 New Cases

An additional 97 cases increases the total to 257,473. There have been 3,425 deaths and 249,806 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.

Monday, May 3

Dallas County Reports 455 Cases, Eight Deaths

The eight deaths give Dallas County a cumulative total of 3,908. The deaths reported Monday include people who ranged in age from their 50s to their 90s, and all had underlying high-risk health conditions.

Tarrant County Reports 261 Cases, One Death

The death was a man from Fort Worth in his 70s with underlying health conditions. Tarrant County now has 3,424 confirmed deaths and 249,669 people have recovered.

Denton County Reports 145 Cases, One Death

The death was of a man in his 70s from Southlake. Denton County has a total of 489 deaths. Of the 145 cases reported Monday, 124 are active cases.

Houston Health Department Sends Vaccines To ICE Processing Center

Some immigrants in a detention center in Houston are among the first people in detention centers in the state to be given the COVID-19 vaccine.

Houston's health department sent 130 first doses of the Moderna vaccine to ICE's Houston Processing Center in north Houston.

The city’s immunization bureau chief, Omar Salgado, said the request came in through the state of Texas and they expect to give second doses in coming weeks.

“We just want to make sure those folks are vaccinated, protected… so when they are released they can go back and protect their families because we don’t want a spread," Salgado said. "We don’t want an outbreak inside that facility.”

This is the first time ICE has received COVID vaccines from the City of Houston.

Six immigration attorneys told Houston Public Media this is the first known coronavirus vaccination effort inside ICE detention centers in Texas.

Some 400 people are under isolation for COVID-19 in Texas ICE facilities.

UTSW Scientists Identify Brazil Variant In North Texas

Scientists at UT-Southwestern Medical Center recently identified the latest: Two cases of the Brazil variant found in COVID patients.

Dr. James Cutrell specializes in COVID patient care at UTSW. He talked with KERA’s Sam Baker about variants and why the Brazil variety, in particular, concerns him.

A variant means the virus has accumulated enough mutations that there's some change either in behavior, how easily it's spread, or possibly how it responds to certain treatments," Cutrell said. "There's a number of variants being tracked across the world. This particular one, P-one, or sometimes colloquially referred to as the Brazil variant, is one example of those variants of concern that we've been tracking."

Read or listen to the full conversation.

With Half Of Eligible Texans Still Unvaccinated & Supply Beating Demand, Texas Shifts Strategies

Texas is shifting its vaccination campaign away from big hubs and toward smaller, private providers.

On Friday, Texas health officials sent letters to the state’s nearly 8,000 registered vaccine providers that some 280,000 doses would be coming into the state’s warehouse next week and are up for grabs.

Starting this week, the state will start asking the federal government only for doses that providers have ordered, as opposed to asking for as much as they can get, an agency spokesperson said.

Read the full story from The Texas Tribune.

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

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