As professionals encourage the public to be more cautious in light of the continued rise in COVID-19 cases, here’s what you need to know today:
- Dallas County reports 868 new positive COVID-19 cases, including 267 probable cases;
- State announces extension of emergency SNAP benefits.
Dallas County Reports 868 New Positive COVID-19 Cases Including 267 Probable Cases
Dallas County health officials reported 601 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Dallas County Thursday, for a cumulative total of 99,761 confirmed cases, including 1,127 confirmed deaths.
There were 267 additional probable cases reported, for a total of 7,601 probable cases including 16 probable deaths.
The additional six deaths include an Iriving man in his 40s, a Grand Prairie woman in her 80s, and two Dallas residents in their 50s and 60s. Unless otherwise noted, they had underlying health conditions.
The provisional seven-day average of daily new confirmed and probable cases (by date of test collection) for CDC week 43 was 733— the highest daily average of new cases since July. The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 has increased to 15.4% of symptomatic patients presenting to area hospitals testing positive in week 43 (week ending Oct. 24).
A provisional total of 693 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in school-aged children (5 to 17 years) during CDC week 43– about twice the numbers of children diagnosed in this age group 3 weeks earlier (CDC week ending Oct. 3).
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. Of the total confirmed deaths reported to date, about 24% have been associated with long-term care facilities. New cases are being reported as a daily aggregate, with a more detailed summary report updated Tuesdays and Fridays.
Local health experts use hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and ER visits as three of the key indicators as part of determining the COVID-19 Risk Level (color-coded risk) and corresponding guidelines for activities during our COVID-19 response. There were 480 COVID-19 patients in acute care in Dallas County for the period ending on Wednesday Nov. 4. The number of emergency room visits for COVID-19 like symptoms in Dallas County was 522, which represents around 21% of all emergency department visits in the county according to information reported to the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council.
“Although there is some evidence that more people are renewing their diligence in wearing a mask and avoiding crowds, not enough of us are doing this and our numbers are continuing to rise,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said. “Today we have 868 new COVID-19 cases to report and six deaths. Those reported today who lost their lives range in ages from their 40’s to their 90’s. We know what to do, we just need to do it.
“With the weather being good, it’s a great time to get outside and avoid indoor crowds. We must all wear our mask everyday as part of our wardrobe when leaving the house. It’s up to all of us to flatten the curve, safe lives and strengthen our economy by doing the things that doctors have repeatedly told us are necessary to win the battle against COVID.”
State Announces Extension Of Emergency SNAP Benefits
Gov. Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission will provide approximately $202 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program food benefits for the month of November as the state continues its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will continue to ensure Texans can provide nutritious food for their families throughout the COVID-19 response,” said Governor Abbott. “I thank our partners at the USDA for extending these emergency benefits for the month of November.”
“As we head into November and the holiday season, we want to ensure that Texans can get nutritious food for their families who may be spending more time at home,” said Texas HHS Access and Eligibility Services Deputy Executive Commissioner Wayne Salter. “These continued benefits will ensure eligible Texans receive the help they need during these uncertain times.”
More than 1 million SNAP households will see the additional amount on their Lone Star Card. The emergency November allotments are in addition to the almost $1.5 billion in benefits previously provided to Texans between April and October. HHSC received federal approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend the maximum, allowable amount of SNAP benefits to recipients based on family size.
Administered by HHSC, SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1.4 million eligible low-income families and individuals in Texas.
Texans in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP and Medicaid, at YourTexasBenefits.com or use the Your Texas Benefits mobile app to manage their benefits.