Dallas County Reports 1,867 More COVID-19 Cases, Four Deaths

As vaccine rollout continues with the opening of a new mega COVID-19 vaccination site at Fair Park yesterday, and the county continues to report high hospitalizations for the virus, here’s what you need to know today: 

  • Dallas County reports 1,867 more COVID-19 cases, four deaths;
  • COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues for week of Jan. 11.
Dallas County Reports 1,867 More COVID-19 Cases, Four Deaths

Dallas County Monday reported 1,867 more COVID-19 cases–1,813 confirmed and 54 probable–and four additional deaths.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the county’s reported 194,380 confirmed cases, 24,706 probable cases, and 1,777 deaths.

The additional deaths reported Monday include a Richardson man in his 50s, a Cedar Hill man in his 60s, a Richardson man in his 70s, and a Desoto man in his 70s. All had underlying conditions.

The provisional seven-day average of daily new confirmed and probable cases (by date of test collection) for the week ending Dec. 21 was to 2,104, which is a rate of 79.8 daily new cases per 100,000 residents — the highest case rate in Dallas County since the beginning of the pandemic. The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 also remains high, the county says, with 31% of symptomatic patients presenting to area hospitals testing positive in the week ending Dec. 21.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, over 3,864 healthcare workers and first responders have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Dallas County.

“While I’m pleased that vaccinations are accelerating, we are at an all-time high for hospitalizations and COVID infections. It’s important to remember that with these sort of new infection and hospitalization numbers, things that you felt were safe several weeks ago are much less safe today,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. “That is why doctors ask that you do your part to help them have capacity so they can help anyone who needs any sort of help at our hospitals. Please follow doctors’ advice to wear your mask, wash your hands, avoid crowds by finding ways to do shopping online or through curbside pickup, avoid unnecessary exposures, and forgo get-togethers with people outside your home during this time of high spread.”

UT Southwestern Medical Center’s data shows Dallas County COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased 17% during the last two weeks.

UTSW’s model also projects total COVID-19 hospitalizations could reach to between 1,170 and 1,900 concurrent hospitalized cases by Jan. 22, as well as roughly 3,600  new COVID-19 cases per day expected by Jan. 22. 

A total of 3,286 residents and 1,871 healthcare workers in long-term facilities in Dallas have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Of these, 378 have died. About 22% of all deaths reported to date have been associated with long-term care facilities.

 There are also 109 active long- term care facility outbreaks, the highest number of long-term care facilities with active outbreaks reported in Dallas County since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Dallas County’s reported 42 outbreaks of COVID-19 in congregate-living facilities like  homeless shelters, group homes, and halfway homes, in the past 30 days associated with 114 cases.

Over the past 30 days, there have been 5,309 COVID-19 cases in school-aged children and staff reported from 677 separate K-12 schools in Dallas County, including 454 staff members.  

As of Monday, Highland Park ISD’s reported one case of COVID-19 among a staff member assigned to Armstrong Elementary, six among students there, two cases among staff members assigned to Boone Elementary, four cases among students there, two cases among students at Bradfield, two cases among students at University Park, one case among a staff member assigned to McCulloch Intermediate, three among students there, two cases among students at Highland Park Middle School, three cases among staff members assigned to Highland Park High School, and 20 among students there, according to the district’s COVID-19 webpage.

Also as of Monday, Dallas ISD’s reported 2,955 cases districtwide, 1,449 cases among campus staff, 327 among central staff, and 1,179 among students. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Continues For Week Of Jan. 11

As Dallas County and the city of Dallas opened the new mega vaccination center yesterday, COVID-19 vaccine doses continue to be distributed across the state.

The Texas Department of State Health Services announced Sunday they instructed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ship first doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 234 providers this week. That includes 28 hub providers that will focus on large community vaccination efforts as Texas vaccinates health care workers, people 65 and older and those with medical conditions that put them at greater risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19. In Dallas County, Parkland Hospital and UT Southwestern Medical Center have been designated as hubs.

The hub providers will receive 158,825 doses of vaccine based on the number of people each provider estimated it could serve in a week. An additional 38,300 doses will go to other providers to continue vaccination in communities statewide. Providers in 104 counties will receive vaccine shipments this week, bringing the cumulative number of counties to 222. Vaccine has been administered to residents of all 254 Texas counties.

In addition to the vaccine outlined above, Texas will reserve 121,875 doses for the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care program. This completes the first doses the state has been required to set aside, freeing up that much more vaccine to be shipped to providers each week in the future. Texas providers will also receive about 500,000 doses intended as the second dose for people first vaccinated a few weeks ago.

Vaccine remains limited based on the capacity of the manufacturers to produce it, so it will take time for Texas to receive enough vaccine for all the people in the priority populations who want to be vaccinated. The supply is expected to increase in the coming months, and additional vaccines are in clinical trials and may be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration.

People can find more information on COVID-19 vaccine on the county’s registration website.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s office announced Monday that more than 1.5 million vaccine doses have been delivered to providers throughout Texas.

 Texas has administered 802,507 doses that have been successfully reported into ImmTrac2, the state’s immunization registry. However, there is a 48 hour reporting lag time from ImmTrac2.

Of the 802,507 doses administered, 83,538 are second doses. And 777,897 doses are either not yet reported, or are waiting to be given to Texans.

Additionally, Texas has received 487,500 doses for Texas nursing homes and long-term care facilities, which are administered by CVS and Walgreens. Of those 487,500 doses, 75,312 have been administered. 412,188 doses for long-term care facilities and nursing homes have not yet been reported, or are waiting to be given.

This week, Texas is set to receive nearly 940,000 doses, including nearly 200,000 first doses delivered to providers in 104 counties.

For the remainder of January, Texas expects to deliver an additional 310,000 first doses per week and up to 500,000 second doses. Moving forward, first doses are expected to increase and will be dependent on the federal government.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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