COVID-19 Live Updates: Tarrant County Public Health Director Urges Residents To Sign Up For Vaccine
Get live updates throughout the day on how COVID-19 is affecting North Texas.
» COVID-19 By The Numbers:
- In Texas: More than 2.8 million cases and more than 49,400 deaths have been reported.
- Cases In North Texas: Dallas County: 255,782; Tarrant County: 255,063; Denton County: 73,645; Collin County: 73,439. There have been at least 8,500 reported deaths in the region's four largest counties. (Data as of April 21)
- Counties across Texas: Use the Texas Newsroom's interactive maps.
- Global: See Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 dashboard.
Wednesday, April 21
Tarrant County Public Health Director Urges Residents To Sign Up For Vaccine
Tarrant County Public Health director Vinny Taneja said demand for COVID-19 vaccines has dropped, and they're asking those eligible to sign up for a dose.
"So the message for everyone to repeat to anybody they meet, let's get vaccinated while the cases are low,” he said. “Don't let your guard down because it can surge, examples abound all across, we've seen those."
The county today reports 192 new COVID-19 cases and three additional deaths.
Dallas County Reports 279 New Cases
Another 279 cases in the area raises the total to 255,782. Of the cases reported today, 138 are confirmed cases. A total of eight deaths were reported today including:
- A Garland man in his 40s.
- A Wilmer man in his 50s.
- A Garland man in his 60s.
- A Mesquite man in his 70s.
- A Dallas man in his 70s.
- A Dallas man in his 70s.
- An Irving man in his 70s
- A Balch Springs man in his 80s.
58 Additional Cases In Denton County
There are 58 additional cases in the county, raising the total to 73,645. There have been 158 newly recovered cases of COVID-19, increasing the countywide recovery total to 69,333.
Tarrant County Reports 148 New Cases
Another 148 cases increases the total to 255,063. There have been 3,379 deaths and 247,343 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.
Dallas County Health Official Calls For Continued Precautions As COVID-19 Numbers Improve
Dallas County Health director Dr. Philip Huang told county commissioners on Tuesday that COVID-19 metrics have improved in recent weeks. But residents should continue to take precautions like social distancing and mask wearing.
“We do remain now in the orange zone for transmission, it's still extreme caution, but certainly progress form being in the red zone,” he said. “We still are not out of the woods yet.”
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says the county is "in a race against time and the virus to reach herd immunity." Herd immunity is when enough people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or built up immunity through a previous infection.
Dallas County To Hand Vaccination Efforts To Private Company
Dallas County will pay a private company up to $30 million in federal coronavirus aid for future vaccine efforts, including pop-up inoculation sites and walk-in clinics.
The Dallas Morning News reports commissioners yesterday unanimously approved a contract with Colorado-based American Medical Response Ambulance Service.
The company will begin to take over the county health department’s vaccine hub at Fair Park as early as next week.
The hub in South Dallas has served as one of several federal vaccination sites run by the U.S. military and FEMA aimed at increasing immunity in underserved and highly vulnerable communities.
Soldiers from Fort Riley, Kansas will leave the fair Park hub May 15.
At the same time, commissioners and officials across the country are grappling with a dramatic increase in vaccine supply and shrinking demand.
Tuesday, April 20
COVID-19 ravaged Texas Nursing Homes. The Texas Tribune Explores The Stories Behind The Numbers.
Nearly 90,000 nursing home residents in Texas have died of COVID-19 this past year.
Carla Astudillo with The Texas Tribune talked about its analysis of state COVID 19 data on public radio's Texas Standard.
"Right around the beginning what was most interesting about nursing home deaths was the proportion that nursing home residents made," Astudillo siad. "They made up 40% of total COVID deaths statewide."
Astudillo said the biggest takeaway is the vulnerability of nursing homes to infection.
The federal government has cited 80% of nursing homes in Texas for infection control and prevention issues.
Texas A&M Scientists Identify New Variant
Researchers at Texas A&M University have identified a new variant of the COVID-19 virus that may have greater resistance to antibodies, which the body creates to ward off infections.
The BV-1 variant, named for its origin in the Brazos Valley, was detected in a College Station student last month who had mild symptoms, but was infected for longer than is typical for young adults.
Texas A&M Virologist Ben Neuman says the strain is a mutation of the variant first found in the UK.NEUMAN.
"That mutation makes the virus resistant to antibody therapies and will probably make it a little more resistant to vaccinations. So it's not the same mutation that's changed in the South Africa or Brazil strains," Neuman said. "It's kind of the one next door and it looks as though it's going to have the same effect."
Neuman says the new variant has been reported to state and federal public health officials.
282 New Cases & 13 More Deaths Reported In Dallas County
Of the 282 new cases in Dallas County today, all but 45 are confirmed. This brings the total cases countywide to 255,644, including 3,820 deaths.
Among those who's deaths were reported today are 19-year-old man and a woman in her 30s, both lived in the City of Dallas and had underlying health conditions.
Tarrant County Reports 3 More Deaths & 192 New Cases
Tarrant County now has 3,378 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 and 254,915 cumulative cases — 247,126 people have recovered.
The deceased were all from Fort Worth: a man from Fort Worth in his 80s, a woman in her 60s and a man in his 50s. All had underlying health conditions.
3 Deaths & 164 New Cases In Denton County
Denton County Public Health announced 164 new cases and three more deaths as a result of COVID-19, bringing the total case count to 73,588, including 482 deaths. Today’s reported COVID-19 deaths include:
- A Copper Canyon man over 80
- A Denton woman over 80
- A woman in her 70s who was a resident of unincorporated southwest Denton County
State Launches Next Phase In Vaccination Campaign
The Texas Department of State Health Services is launching the next phase of its campaign encouraging Texans to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with a $1.5 million television and radio ad buy.
The campaign includes messages geared toward specific groups, like Black and brown Texans, that research shows tend to be less likely to get vaccinated.
The first ad, which started running Monday features Dr. Farris Blount talking to fellow Black Texans about the importance of getting vaccinated.
Digital ads are also running in English and Spanish featuring Dr. Ross, a Houston physician, and Dr. Emilie Prot, the DSHS regional medical director in Harlingen.
“Our research shows that individual health care professionals are the most trusted voices for people deciding whether to get vaccinated,” said DSHS Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt in a statement. “Over the coming weeks we will continue to share messages encouraging various communities to get vaccinated. We are also relying on trusted voices within those communities to speak up and let their neighbors know that the available COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to end the pandemic and restore normalcy.”
Later this week, DSHS will have the first of 22 parking lot pop-up events around Texas. These 4-hour events, hosted in Walmart parking lots through mid-May, will feature a 16-foot video wall with facts about COVID-19 vaccines.
The first three events will be Thursday in Austin, Friday in Houston and Saturday in Beaumont.
Results Coming Soon In The Federal Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Investigation
Experts are preparing to present results of an investigation into possible links between the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and rare U.S. cases of blood clots.
The FDA last week paused use of the one-dose vaccine while the cases were examined.
Johnson & Johnson advised European governments to store their doses until the EU drug regulator issued guidance on their use.
American Airlines Bringing Back Beverage Service
Starting May 1, there will be full beverage service in all American domestic premium cabins. Starting June 1, beverage service, including canned drinks, juice and water, will begin in the main cabin.
The airline says the safety and well-being of customers and the flight crew on board is a top priority.
“American’s reintroduction of beverage service is a careful and informed process to ensure everyone on board feels safe and comfortable,” Brady Byrnes, Vice President of Flight Service said in a statement. “When customers fly with American, they are trusting us with their safety. We worked closely with the union that represents our flight attendants, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, and medical experts on this process."
American says feedback from flight attendants and customers will be closely considered as more food and beverage service is introduced incrementally.
Monday, April 19
500 Vaccines Available To Fort Worth ISD Employees Or Anyone 18 And Older
Civitas Senior Living Center in Fort Worth is offering 500 vaccines on a first-come, first-served basis to Fort Worth ISD employees, or anyone 18 years and older at its clinic, located at 930 W. 1st Street in Fort Worth, on the third floor of the building.
The clinic will take place on Wednesday, April 21 and is open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Fort Worth ISD employees can sign up for a vaccine by using an online form. Employees should complete the online registration and bring the paper consent form attached to their appointment confirmation email.
If more people register than there are vaccines available, Civitas will notify each person via email if there are no more appointments available. However, those who get this notification are still encouraged to come to the clinic around 5:30 p.m. to see if any leftover doses may be available.
Tarrant County Reports 133 New Cases
There are 133 additional cases in the area, bringing the total to 254,723. A total of 3,375 deaths and 246,970 people have recovered from the virus in the area.
219 New Cases In Denton County
An additional 219 cases brings the total to 73,424. There have been 489 newly recovered cases in the area, raising the countywide recovery total to 68,979.
Project Unity Expands Vaccination Program To West Dallas
Dallas-based nonprofit Project Unity is expanding its free community vaccination event to West Dallas starting on Monday. Uber is offering free rides to the event.
The vaccination event on Monday will serve a predominantly Spanish-speaking neighborhood with first doses of the Moderna vaccine, through the partnership of Brother Bill’s Helping Hand (BBHH). The second dose of the Moderna vaccine will be administered on May 17. Monday’s event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday at 3906 N. Westmoreland Road, Dallas, TX 75212.
Project Unity’s founder Pastor Richie Butler said the vaccination program is key to reaching herd immunity.
“Working with partners like Brother Bill’s Helping Hand, we will offer life-saving vaccines to under-served residents where they live and who may have concerns that require a conversation and reassurance from a trusted medical professional,” he said.
Nationwide data shows Black and Latino communities have been hardest hit by COVID-19 and are being vaccinated at lower rates. To address this disparity, Project Unity is partnering with St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church and Catalyst Health Network to provide drive-thru vaccinations.
April 19 – First Moderna (May 17: Second Moderna) – REGISTER HERE
- Location: Brother Bill’s Helping Hands, 3906 N. Westmoreland Road, Dallas, TX 75212
April 23 – Second Pfizer
- Location: St. Luke Community United Methodist Church, 5710 E. R L Thornton Fwy, Dallas, TX 75223
April 26 – First Moderna (May 25 – Second Moderna) – REGISTER HERE
- Location: Disciple Central Community Church, 901 N. Polk St, Suite 1010, DeSoto, TX 75115
April 28 – First Moderna (May 26 – Second Moderna)
- Location: St. Luke Community United Methodist Church, 5710 E. R L Thornton Fwy, Dallas, TX 75223
April 30 – First Moderna (May 28 – Second Moderna)
- Location: For Oak Cliff, 907 E. Ledbetter Dr, Dallas, TX 75216
Statewide Rolling Average Shows Rise In Cases
The two-week rolling average of coronavirus cases in Texas is increasing, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The average number of new cases per day in the state has risen more than 5% between April 1 and April 15.
Across the state, 1,900 more coronavirus cases were reported Sunday along with 28 new deaths. Nearly 50,000 Texans have died of COVID-19, ranking the state third nationally.
Saturday, April 17
Dallas County Reports 292 New Cases, 11 Deaths
The 11 deaths reported Saturday give Dallas County a cumulative total of 3,794. Saturday’s deaths include people who ranged in age from their 40s to their 80s.
Tarrant County Reports 236 New Cases, 2 Deaths
The two deaths reported Saturday include a man from Fort Worth in his 60s and a man from Fort Worth in his 50s. Tarrant County now has a cumulative total of 3,373 confirmed deaths from COVID-19. County officials also report 246,668 people have recovered.
75 New Cases In Collin County
The Texas Department of State Health Services reports 75 new COVID-19 cases in Collin County today.
Walk-Up Vaccinations Available At Fair Park Today
Dallas County's Fair Park vaccination site is offering first and second doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine until 5 p.m. today. Officials say registration can be done on site, and no appointment is needed. Visitors are instructed to enter at Gate 10 or Gate 2.
More Than 6 Million Texans Fully Vaccinated
The latest reporting from the Texas Department of State Health Services shows 6,260,744 people are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. That's nearly 28% of the state's population. Officials report 9,836,891 Texans have received at least one dose.
Friday, April 16
Dallas County Reports 152 Cases, 15 Deaths
The deaths reported Friday included people who ranged in age from their 50s to their 90s. All but one person had underlying high-risk health conditions, and one person was an individual who received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine but was immunocompromised and a candidate for an organ transplant.
The Fair Park vaccination site was closed Friday because of weather. It is expected to reopen Saturday.
Tarrant County Reports 234 Cases, Two Deaths
The deaths reported Friday include a man from Edgecliff Village in his 70s and a man from Fort Worth in his 60s. Both had underlying health conditions.
Tarrant County now has 3,371 confirmed deaths and 246,458 people have recovered.
Denton County Reports 125 Cases
Of the 125 cases reported on Friday, 96 are active cases. This increases the cumulative, countywide total to 73,207 cases. Denton County also reported 179 newly recovered cases of COVID-19, increasing the countywide recovery total to 68,490.
Dallas County Exhausts Waitlist — Same & Next-Day Vaccine Appointments Now Available
People can now make same-day or next-day first-dose vaccine appointments at either the Fair Park or The Potter's House hubs. Patients don't need an invitation and are not required to be registered on Dallas County's waitlist.
First-dose appointments at The Potter's House can be scheduled online or over the phone.
"With the vaccine supply increasing and the demand no longer keeping pace, we are entering the critical next phase of our efforts," Mayor Eric Johnson said. "If you are 16 or older and you have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine dose, the wait is over. It is your turn. "
In addition, people age 55 and older may now receive a COVID-19 vaccination without an appointment by going to Fair Park Gate 10 or Gate 2 with a photo ID during operating hours.
Anyone who previously registered for the wait list and has not yet been contacted to make an appointment should visit Dallas County's vaccination page to make an appointment at either site or call 1-855-IMMUNE9.
This change in the waitlist does not affect the process for receiving second doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. People should continue to wait for communication inviting them to make an appointment for second doses.
North Texas Area Community Health Centers Offer Free Vaccines This Weekend
North Texas Area Community Health Centers is offering 500 first-dose Pfizer vaccines to people 16 and older who have not received the vaccine yet. The clinic is first-come, first-served, and will take place at the Northside facility in Fort Worth, located at 2332 Beverly Hills Drive.
The clinic will take place from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday and the following Saturday (April 24). People will need to bring an ID and an insurance card, if they have one.
Thursday, April 15
Hospitalizations Stall Statewide
Texas' steady decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations from their peak in January has stalled around 3,000 since late last month. Some public health experts warn the numbers could easily go back up if residents aren't careful.
Doctor Luis Ostrosky is chief of infectious diseases at UT's McGovern Medical School in Houston. He says hospitalizations would likely have continued declining if not for Spring Break and the governor lifting statewide pandemic restrictions.
"We're on cruise control, but at 100 miles per hour," Ostrosky said. "So we're not seeing any further gains and we risk actually losing everything we've gained so far."
Ostrosky adds new coronavirus variants could surge in Texas this summer —even with aggressive vaccination efforts underway.
A bill that makes virtual doctor’s appointments a permanent option in the state received initial approval in the Texas House Wednesday. Sarah Self-Walbrick of Texas Tech Public Media reports on complementary legislation that one advocate hopes will pass next.
Telemedicine May Be Here To Stay In Texas, But Many Don't Have The Internet Access To Take Part
House Bill 4 will make telemedicine appointments more accessible, but it doesn’t fix all barriers to the option. It’s estimated that more than 9 million Texans don’t have good enough internet to get through a virtual appointment.
Director of Connected Nation Texas Jennifer Harris says another bill heard in the legislature this week, House Bill 1715, would allow internet providers to connect to existing fiber lines owned by the Lower Colorado River Authority. to help improve internet connectivity for some rural Texans.
“I think it’s something that’s really smart that the state of Texas is looking at, to use some of our existing infrastructure,” Harris said.
Bill 1715 goes to a third read this week before it officially passes the house.
Dallas County Reports 202 Additional Cases
An additional 202 cases increases the total to 254,731. Of the cases reported today, 140 are confirmed. The county reported 21 deaths due to the virus today.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins urged residents to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine.
“We are at a point now where we have more vaccine than we do people who are registered to get the vaccine. You may now come to Fair Park if you are 55 years or older without an appointment and without pre-registering and get a shot at any time that we are open."
Tarrant County Reports 282 New Cases
Another 282 cases were reported in the area, raising the total to 253,954. There have been 3,369 deaths and 246,231 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.
Denton County Has 53 New Cases
There are 53 new cases of COVID-19 in Denton County today, of which 35 are active cases. This brings the cumulative countywide case count to 73,082, including 479 deaths.
31 New Cases In Collin County
There are 31 additional cases in the area, bringing the total to 72,899. A total of 87,201 people have recovered from the virus in the area.
Wednesday, April 14
New Texas COVID-19 Cases Count Below Average, Deaths Average
A below-average number of new COVID-19 cases was reported Wednesday, while deaths matched the Texas’ average, according to state health officials.
Even with the addition of 160 previously unreported cases added to the 3,262 new cases reported Wednesday, the total fell well short of the seven-day rolling average of 3,699 computed by Johns Hopkins University researchers.
The 68 new COVID-19 deaths in Texas matched the seven-day rolling average calculated by Johns Hopkins.
The state estimated almost 64,552 active COVID-19 cases Wednesday, with 2,960 COVID-19 sufferers hospitalized in Texas Tuesday, the most recent total available.
One Texan in three has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, while one in five is fully vaccinated, according to the U.S, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
City Of Fort Worth To Open Pop-Up Vaccine Clinic Thursday
The city of Fort Worth and MedStar are partnering to open a pop-up community vaccine clinic on Thursday. Around 1,000 vaccines will be available for people 18 years and older.
The one-day event will be held at the North Tri-Ethnic Community Center at 2950 Roosevelt Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76106 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
The clinic is available for on-site registration, but community members are encouraged to preregister here.
City Of Dallas Relaunches Home Vaccination Program
The City of Dallas and the Visiting Nurse Association of Texas are relaunching their in-home vaccination program next Monday with plans to use the Moderna vaccine. All residents who were scheduled to receive in-home shots this week will be rescheduled for next week.
Previously, the program was postponed after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration sent out joint guidance, recommending that state vaccine providers pause distribution of Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Blood clots have been reported in six people around 6-13 days after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. No cases have been reported in Texas.
Dallas County: 285 New Cases & 20 More Deaths
Of the 285 new COVID-19 cases in Dallas County today, 224 have been confirmed. This brings the cumulative countywide total to 254,591 cases —3,747 Dallas County residents have died due to COVID-19.
Those whose deaths were reported today ranged in age from their 50s to their 80s. All had underlying health conditions.
The county reports, of all confirmed cases requiring hospitalization to date, more than two-thirds have been under 65 years of age.
During the past 30 days, there were 1,110 COVID-19 cases in school-aged children and staff reported from 351 separate K-12 schools in Dallas County.
270 New Cases In Tarrant County
There are 270 additional cases in the area, raising the total to 253,672. Another 3,365 county residents have died and 246,050 people have recovered from the virus in the area.
Denton County Reports 102 Additional Cases
An additional 102 cases brings the total to 73,030. Of the cases reported today, 49 are active. There are 131 newly-recovered cases in the area, increasing the countywide recovery total to 68,113.
Public Health Director Says He’s Concerned About Tarrant County’s Slowing COVID-19 Decline
Tarrant County Public Health Director VInny Taneja said he's concerned about a slowdown in the decline of COVID-19.
“With hospitalizations, we've kinda hit a bottom and for the last three weeks or so, we're not going any lower, we're just staying at that level, which could mean trouble ahead,” he said.
Taneja said Tarrant County residents should continue taking precautions to prevent another spike in cases by avoiding large crowds, wearing masks and washing hands.
Dallas County Jail To Resume In-Person Visitation Monday
In-person visits to the Dallas County Jail will resume on Monday, more than a year after officials barred visitations because of the pandemic.
Eligible inmates can have one 15-minute visit with an adult per week.
Video visitations that began last year will continue and won't count towards a person’s in-person visits. Visitation booths will be sanitized between visitors and social distancing and masking is required.
Tuesday, April 13
City Of Dallas Postpones Home Vaccination Program
The city of Dallas and the Visiting Nurses Association of Texas have postponed in-home vaccination efforts that were supposed to begin today.
Those efforts would have involved giving the Johnson & Johnson shot to homebound residents, but this morning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) both recommended postponing distribution of that vaccine.
That's due to a handful of blood clotting incidents linked to the vaccine. The adverse reaction to the vaccine appears to be extremely rare and will be investigated.
Texas Halts Use Of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
The Texas Department of State Health Services is asking vaccine providers in the state to stop administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after reports of blood clotting incidents.
The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration put out a joint statement Tuesday, recommending that state vaccine providers pause distribution. Blood clots have been reported in six people around 6-13 days after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
DSHS said in a statement that the incidents appear to be “extremely rare,” but will be further investigated. Those who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who experience severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath are encouraged to contact their healthcare providers.
Gov. Greg Abbott said while no blood clot cases have been reported in Texas, the state is taking precautionary measures. He encouraged Texans to continue signing up for Pfizer or Moderna vaccines:
“Vaccines are a crucial tool to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and remain the most effective way to combat the virus in our communities. I continue to encourage Texans who wish to receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to sign up."
So far, more than 500,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in Texas.
Providers who have Johnson & Johnson vaccines are being asked to continue proper storage and to report any adverse reactions to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System.
Dallas County Reports 252 New Cases
An additional 252 cases have been reported in the county, bringing the total to 254,367. There were 21 deaths reported today.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins urged residents to continue signing up for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines following the federal government’s halting of Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
3 Deaths, 150 New Cases In Denton County
Another three deaths were reported today, including a Denton county man in his 50s, a Frisco man in his 70s and an Aubrey man in his 50s.
There have been 150 additional cases in the area, bringing the total to 72,928. Of the cases reported today, 127 are active cases.
Tarrant County Reports 191 New Cases
There have been 191 new cases in the area, raising the total to 253,402. A total of 3,360 deaths and 245,782 people have recovered from the virus in the area.
Monday, April 12
Dallas County Reports 416 Cases, Nine Deaths
The nine deaths give Dallas County a total fo 3,706. The deaths reported Monday included people who ranged in age from their 50s to their 90s, and all but one person had underlying high-risk health conditions, and three people lived at long-term healthcare facilities.
The vaccination site at Fair Park has given out 343,000 doses since January, and according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, 51.2% of people 65 years and older are fully vaccinated in Dallas County as of April 11.
Tarrant County Reports 194 Cases, One Death
The death reported Monday was a man from Forest Hill who exceeded 90. He had underlying health conditions.
Tarrant County now has 3,357 confirmed deaths and 245,646 people have recovered.
Denton County Reports 196 Cases
Of the 196 cases reported Monday, 177 are active cases. Denton County has a total of 72,779 cases and 476 deaths.
About 19% Of Texans Are Vaccinated, 45th In The Nation
So far about 19% of Texans have been vaccinated — but that's still well below the national rate.
Texas ranks 45th in the country for the percentage of the population that's fully vaccinated. The number of daily doses allocated has been increasing, though, with about 280,000 shots given every day last week.
Vaccines also haven’t yet been approved for Texans under the age of 16, who make up about 23% of the state’s population.
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