News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Health & Wellness

COVID-19 Live Updates: Fort Worth Encouraging Businesses, Organizations To Host Vaccine Clinics

Older whit man's arm with sleeve rolled up as a healthcare worker with gloved hands administers the COVID vaccine.
Keren Carrión
/
KERA News
Candelario Anaya Silva, 76, said it was almost his birthday. “I wanted to make it there without Covid.” Silva got his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at a distribution in Fort Worth, which was specifically geared towards residents who are medically disadvantaged, on Jan. 22, 2021

Get live updates throughout the day on how COVID-19 is affecting North Texas.

» COVID-19 By The Numbers:

  • In Texas: More than 2.9 million cases and more than 50,800 deaths have been reported.
  • Cases In North Texas: Dallas County: 259,657; Tarrant County: 259,447; Denton County: 75,469; Collin County: 74,770. There have been at least 8,836 reported deaths in the region's four largest counties. (Data as of May 17)
  • Counties across Texas: Use the Texas Newsroom's interactive maps.
  • Global: See Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 dashboard.

Monday, May 17

Fort Worth Pushing Pop Up Vaccine Clinics

If businesses and organizations in Tarrant County want to get people vaccinated against COVID-19 providers will bring the shots can now come to them.

Tarrant County Public Health is coordinating pop-up vaccine clinics in the area.

Officials say demand for the vaccine is waning. So instead of relying on mass vaccination sites, Tarrant County Public Health wants to go where the people are.

Businesses and organizations can now request a pop-up clinic.

The county and its partner organizations, including the UNT Health Science Center, JPS and Texas Health Resources, will bring the vaccine and all that it requires.

"We're gonna bring the nurses that are able to draw it. We have the refrigeration. We have all the needles and gloves and PPE and all that type of stuff that we're gonna need," Tarrant County Public Health spokesperson Brian Murnahan said. "So when it comes down to it, as far as when we roll up, we're gonna be self-sufficient."

That's Tarrant County Public Health spokesperson Brian Murnahan.
He says lots of different groups can take advantage of this program -- small businesses, doctors' offices, and even homeowners' associations.
In order to get a pop-up clinic, organizers have to share estimated attendance, capacity, and a picture of the space they want to use.
Murnahan says the goal is to make getting vaccinated more convenient.

Texas Teens Start Getting Vaccinated Over The Weekend

Children 12 and older now have the federal OK to get the Pfizer COVID vaccine.

At a clinic in San Antonio, about 150 people showed up for vaccines over the weekend, many of them teens.

Joelle Kiniry is a nurse at the Communicare vaccine clinic at University United Methodist Church on San Antonio’s northside. She said the flow of patients was slow but steady.

“For the teenager, I think it's going to catch up a little bit more when parents see children are getting it, especially with wanting to do a normal activity for the summer," Kiniry said. I think they're going to, you know, come and get the vaccine.”

Nearly 17 million American children became eligible for the Pfizer shots last week.

She expects a growing number of young teens to get vaccinated over the next few weeks.

Dallas County Reports 407 New Cases

Another 407 cases raises the total to 259,657 cases. Of the cases reported, 288 cases are confirmed.

Nine deaths were reported today of people with ages ranging from their 60s to 90s. In the past 30 days, there were 1,106 COVID-19 cases reported in Dallas County students and staff.

87 Additional Cases In Tarrant County

An additional 87 cases in the area brings the total to 259, 447. There have been 3,472 deaths and 252,449 people have recovered from the virus in the area.

Denton County Announced 10 Deaths

Ten deaths were reported in the area today, bringing the total deaths in the area to 546. There have been 105 new cases reported today, of which 84 are active.

There have been 176 newly recovered cases, raising the countywide recovery total to 71,699.

Saturday, May 15

Dallas County Reports 110 Cases, Six Deaths

The six deaths reported Saturday give Dallas County a cumulative total of 3,978. The deaths reported Saturday include people who ranged in age from their 60s to their 90s.

Tarrant County Reports 118 Cases, Two Deaths

Tarrant County has now seen a total of 3,469 deaths from COVID-19. County officials also report 252,093 people have recovered.

Dallas County Holds Vaccination Clinic In Deep Ellum

Officials with Dallas County Health and Human Services will be in Deep Ellum today hosting a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Shots will be administered outdoors from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Uplift Luna Preparatory – Secondary school on Elm Street. Vaccinations are free, and registration is not required.

Friday, May 14

Dallas County Reports 91 Cases, 11 Deaths

The 11 deaths give Dallas County a total of 3,972. The deaths reported Friday included people who ranged in age from their 50s to their 90s and all but one had underlying health conditions.

Tarrant County Reports 189 Cases, Nine Deaths

The deaths include a woman from Grand Prairie in her 80s, a man from North Richland Hills in his 70s, a woman from Arlington in her 70s, a woman from Grapevine in her 70s, a woman from Arlington in her 60s, a man from Fort Worth in his 60s, a woman from Grand Prairie in her 40s, a man from Arlington in his 30s, and a man from Fort Worth in his 30s. All but one had underlying health conditions.

Tarrant County now has 3,467 confirmed deaths and 251,907 people have recovered.

Denton County Reports 58 Cases, 10 Deaths

The 10 deaths reported included people who ranged in age from their 40s to their 80s. Denton County now has a total of 536 deaths.

North Texas Has Begun Vaccinating Children 12 And Older

About 10 children were the first in Dallas County to receive their doses on Thursday. Adolescents 12 and older have also started being vaccinated against COVID-19 in Tarrant County. The county's health department says there are currently four locations for kids to receive a shot, and no appointments are needed to get one. Denton County Public Health’s online vaccine waitlist is now open to anyone age 12 and older as well. Vaccine appointments are still required in Denton County.

Dallas County Public Health Director Dr. Philip Huang wants to reassure parents.

"First of all, the development of these, there were no shortcuts in the process of these," Huang said. "I mean, they're building on the science that had been developed for years before this. So it wasn't just this rushed, brand new process for developing the vaccine."

Huang says children ages 12 to 15 make up about 6-percent of Dallas County's population. And vaccinating them will get the county closer to herd immunity. Vaccine rollout for kids begins today at 8-am at Fair Park. Parents are encouraged to make their kids appointments on the county website.A parent or guardian sign a consent form prior to the child receiving a shot.

To make an appointment in Dallas County, parents can head to the county's website at dallascounty.org. For kids enrolled in Dallas or DeSoto ISDs, parents can sign their child up through the school district. Both districts will bus teens to the Fair Park hub site for vaccination. Vaccines will also be available for children at CVS locations and some Parkland Hospital branches.

Thursday, May 13

Dallas County Reports 285 Cases, Nine Deaths

The nine deaths give Dallas County a total of 3,961. The deaths reported Thursday include people who ranged in age from their 40s to their 80s, and all had underlying high-risk health conditions.

Tarrant County Reports 213 Cases, One Death

The death is a woman from Euless in her 60s, who had underlying health conditions. Tarrant County now has 3,458 confirmed deaths and 251,662 people have recovered.

Denton County Reports 82 Cases, Six Deaths

The county now has a total of 526 deaths. The deaths reported Thursday included people who were in their 60s and 70s. Of the 82 cases reported, 46 are active cases.

Texas Providers Are Now Able To Get Small Batches Of Vaccines

Texas has changed how health care providers can order COVID-19 vaccines, and officials think that will make it easier for smaller clinics to administer the shot.

Imelda Garcia with the Department of State Health Services said a provider can now order the brand of vaccine it wants, as well as receive smaller batches from the state.

Smaller batches hadn’t previously been possible for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

“Providers are no longer required to order at least 1,170 doses, which is currently the minimum order from the manufacturer,” Garcia said in a call with reporters on Thursday. “We are breaking down those shipments, and re-shipping them to the end user.”

Garcia also said that because Texas has plenty of doses to meet the demand, the state doesn’t have to decide which clinic gets what.

Alcohol To-Go Sales Will Now Be Permanent In Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott has given his approval to a bill making alcohol-to-go-sales permanent in Texas. In a Twitter video yesterday, Greg Abbott signed House Bill 10-24. It allows restaurants to sell alcohol to-go, if it’s included in food pickup and delivery orders.Abbott initially issued this as a temporary waiver last year to help the industry hit hard by the pandemic:

“Well, it turned out that Texans liked it so much that the Texas legislature wanted to make it permanent law in the state of Texas,” the governor said.

The pandemic also caused thousands of restaurants to close in Texas, some of them permanently.

Pfizer Vaccine Now Available For Those 12 And Up In Texas

Texas providers can now administer Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to children 12 years and older. The FDA authorized use of Pfizer's vaccine for preteens and teens Monday.

14-year-old twins Christopher and Caitlin Hunt got their first shots at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston on Wednesday.

"It's a step closer to normal life, to our normal lives, and it will save lives," Christopher said.

"I really want to have a normal high school year, and I just really want everything to go back to normal, and I think it's very important to get vaccinated for that to happen," Caitlin said.

Parental consent is required to vaccinate anyone under 18, but a parent or guardian does not need to be present when the adolescent is vaccinated.

Texas Health Community Clinics Now Offer Simplified Scheduling For Vaccine Appointments

Walk-in appointments will be available for first doses, and online self-scheduling will be available for the system's six community clinics. To schedule an appointment, people can go to the website texashealth.org/vaccines and find a time and place that is most convenient for them. A list of locations for walk-in appointments is also available at that website.

The clinics are also offering the Pfizer vaccine for people 12 and older.

Wednesday, May 12

Texas Cases & Deaths Surged After Schools Reopened Last Fall

That's according to a new report from the University of Kentucky. It found reopening schools contributed to 43,000 more COVID-19 cases and 800 deaths in the first two months.

Aaron Yelowitz is an economics professor and one of the report's authors. He told public radio's Texas Standard transmission in schools is one piece of the puzzle.

"Texas schools did reopen where cases and infections were elevated beforehand, and policy makers ought to recognize that when schools reopen there's gonna also be a burst of economic activity," Yelowitz said. "People kinda going back to their normal lives."

Yelowtiz says when schools reopened, parents had time to go back to work, and do other activities which contributed to community spread.

239 New Cases In Dallas County

Another 239 cases in the area raises the total to 259,030. Of the cases reported today, 161 are confirmed.

Ten deaths were reported today, bringing the total number of deaths to 3,952. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said 98% of the people in the area who contracted COVID and required serious hospitalization had not received a vaccine.

Denton County Reports 14 Deaths

The county announced 14 deaths today, including people from their 50s to 80s. Denton also announced 92 new cases, of which 62 are active. There are 118 newly recovered cases of COVID-19, raising the countywide recovery total to 71,378.

174 More Cases In Tarrant County

An additional 174 cases increases the total to 258,693. There have been 3,457 deaths and 251,473 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.

Plano ISD Drops Mask Requirements For Students, Teachers This Fall

Plano ISD announced last week that it will not require face masks for students and teachers during the upcoming school year, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Masks and face coverings will be optional at all campuses, facilities and events this fall semester. The district said the decision was made based on the improved COVID019 numbers and at the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Adjustments could be made, as determined by the pandemic recovery.

This week, the district also said masks are optional for students and staff who are involved in physical activity outdoors and can keep a safe distance from others who are not in the same household.

The rule on outdoor masks remains in effect for the rest of the school year.

Read the full story.

Pfizer Vaccine To Be Available For Texas Teens Soon

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is one step closer to becoming available to 12 to 15-year-olds in Texas. The FDA granted the company's emergency authorization request yesterday.

State health officials say all that’s needed is the okay from a CDC advisory panel, and providers across Texas can start giving it to that age group.

“It was great news, and it was greatly received because now, we’re going to be able to expand the protections to a wider group of our residents," said Hector Ocaranza with the El Paso City-County Health Authority.

Pfizer is so far the only COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the FDA for teens under 18.

Border To Open So UTEP Parents Living In Mexico Can Attend Graduation

For graduates at the University of Texas at El Paso, parents living in Mexico will be allowed to cross the border and attend in-person commencement next week.

The move comes after the university reached an agreement with Customs and Border Protection.

Jewel Jackson, a reporter with El Paso Matters spoke to public radio's Texas Standard about the agreement.

"As of now we do know that parents will be instructed to have a letter from the university in which they will be able to present at the border crossing," Jackson said.

The travel documents will only be given to parents, not extended family members, according to Jackson.

She says it's not clear how many UTEP students have parents living in Mexico. The university has about a thousand students who are classified as international students from Mexico.

Tuesday, May 11

Tarrant County & AISD Partner To Vaccinate Students
Tarrant County Public Health is partnering with the Arlington Independent School district to make COVID-19 vaccines available to students.

That's after federal officials authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 12 to 15 yesterday.

Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja updated the Commissioners Court today on the joint venture.

“Arlington ISD’s actually providing transportation from individual schools to a centralized location," Taneja said. "So, the parent and the kids can ride on a bus, get through the vaccination site at one of the Arlington ISD locations and then be bussed back.”

County officials are also partnering with local organizations to make vaccines more accessible.

Taneja says community groups and churches can reach out to the county to set up a pop-up vaccination clinic by request.

COVID-19 infection rates in the county have dropped in recent weeks.

Taneja told County Commissioners fewer COVID patients are occupying hospital beds in the county.

He says vaccine availability is at an all-time high, but fewer residents are taking advantage of the ample supply.

“Interest has faded off," Taneja said. "That’s one thing I want to use this opportunity to remind the public, when the cases are low, now is the time to come and get vaccinated, so that we keep it low. Otherwise we give enough of an opportunity for the virus to circulate and we don’t want that. We want to make sure people are protected.”

Tarrant County officials are scheduling vaccination appointments at several sites. You can register online or via hotline at 817-248-6299. That's 817-248-6299.

Dallas County Reports 159 New Cases

There are 159 additional cases, raising the total to 258,869. Of the cases reported today, 133 are confirmed. Eight deaths were reported today including:

  • A Dallas man in his 20s.
  • A Dallas man in his 30s.
  • A Farmers Branch woman in her 60s.
  • A Mesquite man in his 60s.
  • A Seagoville man in his 60s.
  • A Desoto woman in her 70s.
  • A Dallas man in his 90s.
  • A Mesquite man in his 90s.

So far, at least 51% of the eligible population in Dallas County has had at least one COVID-19 vaccine.

142 Additional Cases In Denton County

Another 142 cases were announced in Denton County, which raises the total to 75,133. There have been 137 people who have recovered from the virus in the area, increasing the countywide recovery total 71,276. The county has reported a total of 506 deaths.

Tarrant County Announces 96 New Cases

An additional 96 cases increases the total to 258,519. There have been 3,456 deaths and 251,253 people who have recovered from the virus in the area. Of the 96 cases reported today, the county said 30 had test collection dates over 30 days ago.

Monday, May 10

Dallas County Reports 188 Cases, Six Deaths

The six deaths give Dallas County a total of 3,934. The deaths reported Monday included people who ranged in age from their 60s to their 90s, and all had underlying high-risk health conditions.

Tarrant County Reports 186 Cases, Two Deaths

The deaths reported Monday include a woman from Arlington in her 70s and a woman from White Settlement in her 60s. Both had underlying health conditions.

Tarrant County now has 3,456 confirmed deaths from the COVID-19 virus and 251,097 people have recovered.

Denton County Reports 111 Cases, 11 Deaths

The 11 deaths bring the cumulative total in Denton County to 506. The deaths reported Monday included people who ranged in age from their 40s to their 80s, and one person was a resident of a long-term health care facility.

Denton County also reported 154 recoveries, bringing that total to 71,139.

Two Vaccination Clinics Are Opening In Dallas' District 4

Council member Carolyn King Arnold announced a partnership with Walmart to open two vaccination clinics in District 4. No appointment is necessary to visit either clinic, and they are open to people 18 and over. The clinics will offer the Moderna vaccine.

The clinics will take place Monday and Tuesday at the following locations:

  • May 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Bethel AME Church, 1638 E. Ann Arbor Ave, Dallas.
  • May 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Beckley Saner Rec Center, 114 W. Hobson Ave, Dallas.

Fewer Texans Are Getting Vaccinated

Research shows the number of Texans getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is trending down, even as vaccine supplies rise.

That worries Allison Winnike who heads the Texas-based nonprofit Immunization Partnership.

"The chances of catching COVID-19 and even worse — dying from COVID-19 — are much, much worse than any possible rare, side effect from the vaccine," Winnike said.

She is especially concerned about a Texas Senate Bill designed to protect the liberties of people who choose not to vaccinate.

Winnike would prefer legislation that expands access to shots for vulnerable populations. She hopes as more people get vaccinated, those who were once hesitant may change their minds.

Fort Worth Looking For Community Partners To Expand Vaccine Access

The city of Fort Worth wants to bring more COVID-19 vaccine clinics into local neighborhoods.

Officials say they want to make access easier as more doses become available.
The city is looking to partner with community organizations to set up the neighborhood clinics.

Interested groups can fill out an online form to start the process.

More information is at FortWorthTexas.gov.

Tarleton State University Getting Grant To Help Students Who Dropped Out Due To COVID

Tarleton State University will receive a $750,000 grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to help students who dropped out due to the pandemic.

The Texas Reskilling Grant program will help cover tuition and fees for qualifying students. They'll receive between $750 to $1,500 dollars per semester.

To qualify: a student must not have been enrolled at any college for the previous semester, or in the past six months. Students must be Texas residents, eligible for in-state tuition, and be admitted to Tarleton. They'll also be asked to share how COVID-19 has affected their lives.

Eligible students can pursue a bachelor's degree in a variety of programs including nursing, education, public health and criminal justice.

More Than 8 Million Texans Fully Vaccinated

Over the weekend, Texas Department of State Health Services reported8,471,564 Texans are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. More than 11 million people have received at least one dose.

Mother's Day Reunions In Texas
Some Texans who are now vaccinated against COVID-19 saw their mothers for the first time in more than a year this Mother’s Day weekend.

Marti Evans spoke with NPR's Morning Edition Friday. She said she was looking forward to visiting her 87-year-old mom in Lubbock.

“Saturday, first thing I’m taking her for a pedicure. And, then, she wants to go furniture shopping," she said. "Monday, we’re going to celebrate her birthday. So, she’s just going to be wearing a crown all weekend."

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

KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.

Related Stories