Dallas County Continues Trend Of Lower COVID-19 Hospitalizations

As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue a downward trend, state and local officials continue to monitor the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, and families and school districts prepare for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, there’s a lot of information to keep track of. 

Here are today’s bullet points:

  • Dallas County continues trend of lower COVID-19 hospitalizations;
  • Dallas County Tax Office reopens services to the public;
  • Dallas ISD launches live, interactive parent conferences;
  • DonorsChoose contributions matched today.
Dallas County Continues Trend Of Lower COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Dallas County Health and Human Services Monday reported 581 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total confirmed case count in Dallas County to 55,255, as well as an additional death.

The additional death reported Monday was of a Seagoville woman in her 90s. She had been sent to hospice care where she passed away, and had underlying high risk health conditions.

 Of the total confirmed deaths reported to date, about 28% have been associated with long-term care facilities. 

Over 2,514 children under 18 years of age have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since July 1, including 61 children who have been hospitalized for COVID-19.  Of all confirmed cases requiring hospitalization to date, more than two-thirds have been under 65 years of age. Diabetes has been an underlying high-risk health condition reported in about a third of all hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

“Today continues a trend of lower hospitalizations, lower ICU admissions and lower ED visits for COVID-19. Our new cases are in line with the trajectory that we’ve seen which is markedly lower than our high. We only had one death reported today but every life is precious and our hearts go out to the family of the person whose death was announced today,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said. “The limited success we’re seeing is due to masking, six foot social distancing, avoiding unnecessary trips as well as handwashing. We must not lose our resolve that has brought us to a better place than we were in the middle of last month. We are still far higher in all numbers than we were before the Governor’s Open Texas plan began. With the opening of schools soon, there will be more people around one another and it’s imperative that we continue to do those things that are proven to be successful when we are around people outside of our home.”

Twenty-five hospitals on Sunday reported ventilator and bed capacity numbers to Mayor Eric Johnson’s office. Of 5,971 total beds, 65% were occupied, of 956 total ICU beds, 66% were occupied, and of 1,000 total ventilators, 39% were in use. 

The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for COVID-19 remains high, with about 15.9% of symptomatic patients presenting to area hospitals testing positive in week 30.

“In both Dallas and Tarrant Counties, hospitalizations remain high but are currently declining and are projected to continue this gradual decline over the next two weeks,” UT Southwestern’s latest data notes. “The percent of COVID-19 tests coming back positive continues to drop but is still high enough to suggest that more infection is present in the community than can be seen through testing data alone.”

UT Southwestern’s data shows 16% of COVID-19 tests performed in Dallas County hospitals were positive in the week ending Aug. 1. 

UT Southwestern’s latest forecast projects total COVID-19 hospitalizations in Dallas County could decline to between 420 and 670 concurrent hospitalized cases by Aug. 21, and roughly 500 new COVID-19 infections per day are expected by Aug. 21. 

Dallas County Tax Office Reopens Services to the Public 

The Dallas County Tax Office announced Monday they reopened all branch locations.

Most services can be completed online or by mail, and those citizens who wish to avoid face-to-face contact are asked to visit https://www.dallascounty.org/tax/ for more information on these alternatives. 

New safety protocols include appropriate social distancing, limiting the number of customers allowed in lobbies, and requiring face coverings/masks for each staff member and all customers entering the building. Additionally, Dallas County has implemented enhanced cleaning and frequent disinfecting of all common areas, credit card machines, counters, and pens.

New “Que to Text” technology has been added to Tax Office branch locations to allow customers to pull a ticket and provide their mobile phone number. Customers can wait in their vehicles and will receive a text asking them to proceed to the lobby when they are getting close to being called.  

Tax Assessor/Collector John R. Ames is reminding all residents that the governor’s temporary waiver of vehicle title and registration requirements remains in effect. This means that citizens will not be penalized for renewing or registering late, until 60 days after the TxDMV makes an announcement of the end of the waiver. At this time, that date is unknown. Ames is encouraging citizens to take advantage of processing their vehicle registrations (after a passed inspection) and property tax payments online at www.dallascounty.org/tax from the convenience of their own home or mobile devices. 

“We recognize this is a difficult and uncertain time for our communities, and are working diligently to ensure that we continue to serve our residents with the compassion and excellent service they deserve, while maintaining an enhanced level of safety to the public and to our staff,” Ames said. “We are excited about the implementation of our new “Que to Text” technology that will allow us to assist our customers safely. Please conduct your Tax Office business online when appropriate and avoid unnecessary face-to-face interactions allowing everyone to Stay Safe!” 

Dallas ISD Launches Live, Interactive Parent Conferences 
Photos courtesy Dallas ISD

Dallas ISD is offering a live, interactive virtual parent conference beginning today – and sessions will cover topics that many parents have been asking about, including the district’s reentry plan.

The sessions will be from 3-6 p.m. Aug. 11-13, and August 18-20. 

Session topics such as Dallas ISD school reentry plan, safety protocols, online learning, Technology Tools Training, Parent Portal, and much more will be presented by district experts to ensure Dallas ISD students and families are prepared for a Smart Restart and a successful school year.

All sessions will be recorded and made available for parents. To register, click here.

DonorsChoose Contributions Matched Today

Beginning at 8 a.m. central time, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will give every donation to a DonorsChoose project a 50% “back to learning” boost today, the online crowdfunding platform said.

“Teachers are our unsung essential workers, and they need your help to prepare for the school year ahead,” the company said.

To find Dallas projects, click here.

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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