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COVID-19 In DFW June 20-June 26: Air Travel Disrupted As American Airlines Cancels Flights

American Airlines plane
Tom Pennington
Getty Images
American Airlines furloughed nearly 20,000 employees on Oct. 1, 2020.

Also, extra unemployment benefits end for Texans and the eviction moratorium is extended another month.

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

Saturday, June 26

Tarrant County Reports 58 New Cases

Tarrant County has now seen a total of 263,178 cases of COVID-19. County officials also report 257,633 people have recovered.

More Than 11 Million Texans Fully Vaccinated

The Texas Department of State Health Services reports 11,634,096 people are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. More than 13 million Texans have received at least one dose.

Friday, June 25

Extra Unemployment Benefits For Texans End Tomorrow

Tomorrow Texas joins other Republican-led states in opting out of federal pandemic unemployment programs Congress approved to last through early September. Cisco Gamez, with the Texas Workforce Commission, says that includes a $300 weekly boost to jobless benefits.

“If you’re on regular unemployment, the additional $300 a week benefits will end June 26, 2021," Gamez said. "But, TWC will continue to pay you regular benefits after that date, as long as you remain eligible and have not exhausted your state benefits."

Gov. Greg Abbott last month announced his decision to end the pandemic-related benefits early, saying “the Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring."

Dallas County Reports 115 New Cases & 1 More Death

There have now been a total of 252,615 COVID-19 cases in Dallas County and 4,120 residents have died from the disease.

4 Deaths & 125 New Cases In Tarrant County

Tarrant County now has 3,565 confirmed deaths from COVID-19. There have been 263,120.

Home Values Are Going Up In Texas

Existing home values in Texas jumped about 15% last month compared to May 2020. That's according to Texas A&M's Real Estate Research Center.

Economist Luis Torres says soaring demand and a record low inventory of housing for sale is driving up prices, but calls the trend unsustainable.

"How can you maintain levels of 15% price increases for the coming months?" Torres said. "It's really difficult to do that. So you're probably going to price out some households from the market causing demand to weaken somewhat going forward."

Torres says statewide home sales in May remained well above pre-pandemic levels, but have declined from a peak last December.

Thursday, June 24

Dallas County Reports 114 Cases, Two Deaths

The two deaths give Dallas County a total of 4,119. The deaths reported Thursday were a man in his 50s and a woman in her 90s.

In the week ending June 19, about 57% of eligible Dallas County residents 12 and older have received a vaccine. In the cities of Coppell and Sunnyvale, that number is more than 85%, and in Addison and Highland Park, that number is 75%.

Tarrant County Reports 208 Cases, Two Deaths

The deaths include a woman from Fort Worth in her 80s, and a man from Fort Worth in his 60s. Both had underlying conditions.

Tarrant County now has 3,561 confirmed deaths and 257,472 people have recovered.

Less Than Half Of Texas' Eligible Population Is Fully Vaccinated, A Cause For Concern

Public health experts are concerned over the slowing vaccination rate, especially as the highly transmissible Delta variant continues to circulate.

Catherine Troisi is an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston. She told the Texas Standard Wednesday variants of the virus will remain a threat until more people are inoculated.

"We have to stop the virus from replicating, which means we need to stop transmission through vaccination," she said.

Troisi adds available vaccines are proven to protect against existing variants. Nearly 48 percent of Texans 12 and older are completely vaccinated against the virus.

Federal health officials predict the Delta variant will become the predominant strain in the U.S. within weeks.

Dallas ISD, FWISD Host Vaccination Clinics

Several pop-up clinics will be open next week for students and staff of Dallas ISD and Fort Worth ISD.

The Fort Worth ISD clinics are open to students, staff, and their family members, as well as the community. Register by calling (877) 534-0319 or go to The clinics are as follows:

  • June 23-24, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Riverside Middle School, 1600 Bolton Ave, Fort Worth
  • June 24-25, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Rosemont Middle School, 1501 West Seminary Drive, Fort Worth

The Dallas ISD clinics are open to students 12 years and older. Valid ID is required and all minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged on the Dallas ISD website. The clinics are all from 2 to 6 p.m. as follows:

  • June 28: W.W. Samuell High School, 8928 Palisade Drive, Dallas
  • June 29: Emmett J. Conrad High School, 7502 Fair Oaks Ave., Dallas
  • June 30: David W. Carter High School, 1819 Wheatland Road, Dallas
  • July 1: James Madison High School, 3000 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Dallas

CDC Director Extends Eviction Moratorium For 30 Days

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has signed an extension to the eviction moratorium further preventing the eviction of tenants who are unable to make rental payments. The moratorium that was scheduled to expire on June 30, 2021 is now extended through July 31, 2021 and is intended to be the final extension of the moratorium.

More Texas Students Are Lagging Behind Academically Because Of The Pandemic

The Texas Education Commissioner says the number of students who are significantly below grade level is far higher this year because of the pandemic. Mike Morath shared concerns about STAAR results with the State Board of Education Wednesday.

"I will say the preliminary look is every bit as problematic as we thought that they could be given the information sources that we got throughout the course of the school year," he said.

Morath said public schools across the state will need to focus on how to help students catch up for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, June 23

Tarrant County Reports Moderate Rise In Positivity Rate, Hospitalizations

Health officials in Tarrant County say the COVID-19 positivity rate and hospitalizations have risen slightly in the last two weeks.

Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja told county commissioners on Tuesday that COVID hospitalizations reached an all-time low two weeks ago. But more than 20 new patients have been hospitalized since then.

"Now in the big scheme of things, that alone by itself is not a big concern, but just the turning of the indicator is a little worrisome,” he said.

Meanwhile, Respiratory Seasonal Virus (RSV) is spreading.

Taneja said masking and socially distancing last year significantly decreased the spread of respiratory viruses like RSV.

"So we've just kinda gotten into an unseasonable outbreak, people mixing and mingling together, vacationing, all those types of things,” he said.

Taneja said kids and elderly adults should be especially vigilant about RSV, because there's a higher risk of developing pneumonia in those populations.

Dallas County Reports 139 New Cases

There are 139 more cases, bringing the total to 262,445. Of the cases reported today, 80 are confirmed. Two deaths were reported today:

  • A Duncanville man in his 50s.
  • A Dallas man in his 60s.

A total of 4,117 Dallas County residents have died from the virus in the area.

72 New Cases In Tarrant County

Another 72 cases raise the total to 262,787. There have been 3,559 deaths and 257,368 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.

Denton County Announces 3 Deaths, 29 New Cases

Three deaths were reported today including: A Lewisville woman in her 40s, a Denton man over 80 and a Carrollton man in his 50s.

Another 29 cases were also reported, increasing the total to 76,834.

Research Shows Parole Delays In Texas Worsened During Pandemic

New research says parole delays worsened during the pandemic for Texas prisoners waiting for release.

Michele Deitch with the public affairs school at UT Austin told public radio's Texas Standard that 42 people approved for parole died in a state prison over the last year as they awaited release.

"Even before COVID, people were remaining in Texas prisons for an average of three to four months after their parole approval, but before they were released," she said. "During the pandemic, the typical delay in release ranged from five to 11 months, with an average of about six months."

Deitch said 18 people waiting for release died of COVID. Another 24 died from other causes.

Tuesday, June 22

Delta Variant Likely To Become Dominant, Expert Says

Concern is increasing in North Texas about the Delta variant of coronavirus.

UT Southwestern Medical Center has been sequencing samples to detect known or new variants. The latest data shows prevalence of the variant more than doubled in samples from May 28-June 3.

As of Thursday, Dallas County had reported 110 cases of the Alpha variant — now more common in North Texas — and six of the Delta variant.

Dr. James Cutrell is an infectious disease expert at UT Southwestern. He said the Delta variant's concerning because it's even more transmissible than the Alpha. Cutrell predicts the Delta variant will become the dominant variant in North Texas in the next two to four weeks.

Dallas County Reports 95 Additional Cases

There are 95 more cases in the area, increasing the total to 262,365. Of the cases reported, 91 are confirmed.

Four deaths were reported today:

  • A Dallas woman in her 50s.
  • A Dallas man in his 60s.
  • An Irving man in his 60s.
  • A Carrollton man in his 60s.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins urged residents to get the virus given the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of the virus:

“With the emergence of the Delta variant and the likelihood of the virus continuing to mutate in an effort to become more contagious and deadly (as all viruses do), it is imperative that more people get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Tarrant County Reports 130 New Cases

Another 130 cases brings the total to 262,715. There have been 3,559 deaths and 257,279 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.

39 More Cases In Denton County

An additional 39 cases raises the total to 76,806. There have been 70 newly-recovered cases of the virus, increasing the countywide recovery total to 74,394.

Fair Park Vaccination Site To Shut Down

The COVID-19 vaccination site at Fair Park in Dallas will shut down July 17 — but vaccines will still be available at pop-up clinics.

It's the latest vaccine site to close in Dallas with the drop in demand for vaccines in recent weeks as the number of new coronavirus cases has slowed.

Officials say countywide, nearly 60% of eligible residents have gotten at least one shot.

Meanwhile, Dallas reported two new COVID deaths and 106 new cases yesterday.

Monday, June 21

Texas Unemployment Rate Stagnant In May

The Texas unemployment rate barely budged last month. The Texas Workforce Commission released a full slate of data about May unemployment Friday.

The jobless rate in Texas last month was 6.5%. That's down slightly from April when it was 6.7%.

Texas added more than 34,000 nonagricultural jobs, with positions in leisure and hospitality leading the way. That industry has recovered approximately 264,000 jobs since May of 2020.

Still, the unemployment rate in the state remains well above what it was before the pandemic. In May of 2019, Texas hit a new historic record low for the percentage of residents out of work at just 3.5%.

Dallas County Reports 106 New Cases

An additional 106 cases raises the total to 262,274. Of the cases reported, 96 are confirmed. There have been two deaths in the area: a Desoto man in his 70s and a Dallas woman in her 80s.

So far, about 56% of Dallas residents over the age of 12 have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Tarrant County Reports 56 New Cases

There have been a cumulative total of 262,585 COVID-19 cases in Tarrant County, including 3,558 deaths.

62 New Case, 7 More Deaths In Denton County

Denton County Public Health (DPHC) announced eight more county residents have died because of COVID-19, bringing the total to 612 deaths due to the disease in Denton County.

The residents whose deaths were reported today ranged in age from their 50s to their 80s.

DCPH also reported 62 new cases in Denton County today, of which 60 are active cases. This increases the cumulative, countywide total to 76,767 COVID-19 cases.

COVID Vulnerability Dropping In Dallas County

The Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation has noted a 40% drop in average vulnerability for COVID-19 in Dallas County.

The Center attributed the decrease to a moderate increase in vaccines, and a 37% decline in active cases.

The center's vulnerability index shows significant improvement in some of the communities hit hardest by COVID, including the Oak Cliff area.

The 75208 zip code that stretches from North Oak Cliff to West Dallas is one of only 12 Dallas ZIP codes where 80%t of residents are fully vaccinated.

Three other Oak Cliff ZIP codes are still among the 10 most vulnerable in the city: 75211, 75216 and 75224.

Parkland Hosting More Dallas County Vaccine Clinics This Week

Parkland Health & Hospital System will host several COVID-19 vaccination clinics beginning Tuesday and throughout next week in locations across Dallas County.

People over 12 can receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine without an appointment and will be scheduled to return for their second dose in 21 days.

A valid ID is required, and all minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Clinic Times & Locations:
Tuesday, June 22
T. R. Hoover Community Center
5106 Bexar Street
Dallas 75215
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Supplies: 80 Pfizer doses
The second dose will be administered on Tuesday, July 13

Saturday, June 26
Northwest Community Center
5750 Pineland Drive
Dallas 75231
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Supplies: 500 Pfizer doses
The second dose will be administered on Tuesday, July 17

Monday, June 28
W. W. Samuell High School
8928 Palisade Drive
Dallas 75217
2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Supplies: 500 Pfizer doses
The second dose will be administered on Monday, July 19

Tuesday, June 29
Emmett J. Conrad High School
7502 Fair Oaks Avenue
Dallas 75231
2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Supplies: 500 Pfizer doses
The second dose will be administered on Tuesday, July 20

Wednesday, June 30
David W. Carter High School
1819 Wheatland Road
Dallas 75232
2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Supplies: 500 Pfizer doses
The second dose will be administered on Wednesday, July 21

Thursday, July 1
James Madison High School
3000 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Dallas 75215
2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Supplies: 500 Pfizer doses
The second dose will be administered on Thursday, July 22

People can also get vaccinated at these locations:

  • Ellis Davis Field House, 9191 S. Polk St., Dallas, 75232 between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday – Saturday.
  • Parkland Memorial Hospital, 5200 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, 75235 between 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday or between 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Hundreds of American Airlines flights Canceled Over The Weekend & Today

American Airlines is facing staffing shortages and maintenance issues. ABC News reports the Fort Worth-based carrier canceled about 300 flights over the weekend, and was nearing 100 more this morning.

American said it could continue to cancel at least 50 flights a day during June and July if staffing shortages persist.

When air travel faltered in March 2020 thousands of employees were offered early retirements and buyouts.

Now airlines and the Transportation Security Administration are desperate to fill those positions as air travel has rapidly returned to almost pre-pandemic levels.

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

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