Dallas County Reports Deadliest Day of Pandemic

As Dallas County reached the grim milestone of 40 deaths in a single day Wednesday and the vaccine rollout continues, here’s what you need to know today:

  • Dallas County reports 1,671 more COVID cases, 40 deaths;
  • Drive-through mega COVID-19 vaccination site open this week;
  • PCCI’s MyPCI app informs uers of COVID-19 exposure risk.
Dallas County reports 1,671 more COVID cases, 40 deaths

Dallas County Wednesday reported 1,671 more COVID-19 cases – 1,397 confirmed and 274 probable – and 40 additional deaths, making it the deadliest day of the pandemic thus far.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the county’s reported a cumulative total of 222,409 confirmed cases, 29,638 probable cases, and 2,092 deaths.

Among the deaths reported Wednesday were a Dallas woman in her 20s who died in hospice and didn’t have underlying conditions, a Dallas woman in her 20s who died in a hospital emergency room, a Dallas man in his 30s, a Dallas man in his 40s, a Duncanville man in his 50s who was found dead at his home, a Dallas woman in her 50s, a Dallas man in his 50s, a Garland woman in her 60s, a Dallas man in his 60s who died in a hospital emergency room, a Hutchins man in his 60s, a Dallas man in his 60s, a Dallas woman in her 60s, a Desoto woman in her 60s, a Mesquite man in his 70s, six Dallas women in their 70s, another Dallas woman in her 70s who died in hospice, a Desoto man in his 70s, a Dallas man in his 70s, a Sachse man in his 70s who didn’t have underlying conditions, a Duncanville man in his 70s, two Dallas women in their 80s, a Duncanville woman in her 90s, a Dallas woman in her 90s who died in hospice, and a Dallas man in his 90s who didn’t have underlying conditions.

Also among the deaths reported Wednesday were a woman in her 70s who lived at a Mesquite long-term care facility, a Dallas man in his 70s who lived at a Dallas long-term care facility, a man in his 80s who died at the Mesquite long-term care facility where he lived, a man in his 80s who lived at a Dallas long-term care facility and died in hospice, a woman in her 80s who died at the Mesquite long-term care facility where she lived, a woman in her 90s who lived at a Desoto long-term care facility and died in a hospital emergency room, a man in his 90s who lived at a Dallas independent living facility and died in hospice, a man in his 90s who lived at a Mesquite long-term care facility and died in hospice, a woman in her 90s who died at the Mesquite long-term care facility where she lived, and a man in his 90s who lived at a Dallas long-term care facility.

“These deaths are a result of the high number of COVID cases that have been reported over the last several weeks. Increased deaths always follows increased infections,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. “The decisions we make today will impact the number of COVID cases reported 10-14 days from now and the number of deaths reported at this time next month. It is up to all of us to make the small sacrifices that patriotism requires at this time to keep our community and our country as strong as possible in the battle against COVID.”

The county also reported 1,137 COVID-19 patients in acute care Tuesday, and the number of emergency room visits for COVID-19 like symptoms in Dallas County was 600 for the same time-period, 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. 

Vaccine rollout continues.

Dallas County officials say 23,794 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered at the Fair Park mega-vaccine clinic and, as of Wednesday, there are a little over 4,000 doses remaining for the week. 

“From the time of the first vaccine dose until the time when a person is 95% protected from COVID is about 30-43 days depending on the specific vaccine given. Therefore, the vaccine’s positive effect on our COVID numbers will be delayed for that amount of time as well,” Jenkins said. “I continue to work for more vaccine for our area and believe that we will see significant increase in vaccine in the coming weeks. Therefore, it is very important that we do our part to outreach and continue to sign up people on the Dallas County list and on other North Texas COVID vaccination lists.”

The county also reported that there have been 8,567 COVID-19 cases in school-aged children and staff reported from 709 separate K-12 schools in Dallas County in the past 30 days.

A total of 420 children in Dallas County under 18 years of age have been hospitalized since the beginning of the pandemic, including 32 patients diagnosed with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children (MIS-C), according to the county. Over 80% of reported MIS-C cases in Dallas have occurred in Hispanic or Black children.

As of Wednesday, Highland Park ISD reported 10 cases among staff members and 37 among students, according to the district’s COVID-19 webpage.

Specifically, HPISD reported two cases among staff members assigned to Boone Elementary, two cases among students there, two cases among staff members assigned to Bradfield, one case in a student there, one case in a student at University Park, six cases among students at McCulloch Intermediate, one case in a staff member assigned to Highland Park Middle School, three among students there, four cases among staff members assigned to Highland Park High School, and 25 among students there.

As of Wednesday, Dallas ISD’s reported 3,725 cases districtwide, 1,859 among campus staff, 395 among central staff, and 1,471 among students, according to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard.

The county also reported there are 113 active long-term care facility outbreaks. A cumulative total of 3,705 residents and 2,120 healthcare workers in long-term facilities in Dallas have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Of these, 773 have been hospitalized and 417 have died. About 22% of all deaths reported to date have been associated with long-term care facilities.  

There have also been 20 COVID-19 outbreaks in congregate-living facilities, such as homeless shelters, group homes, and halfway homes, reported in the past 30 days.

A cumulative total of 368 residents and 170 staff members in congregate-living facilities in Dallas have been diagnosed with COVID-19. 

Drive-through mega COVID-19 vaccination site open this week

Dallas resumed drive-through COVID-19 vaccinations at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, NBCDFW reported.

About 2,000 city employees began receiving their second dose of the Moderna vaccine Tuesday, and 5,000 residents in the 1A and 1B groups on the Dallas County registry will be notified and able to receive a vaccine at the convention center beginning today, according to the city.

Dallas Office of Emergency Management Director Rocky Vaz said those receiving an appointment were prioritized by Dallas County and the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation and those without appointments would be turned away. 

“By opening up a site in an area that has the most need, we get it. We’d love to be able to prioritize people from within that area, but the state, way it’s set up right now it doesn’t allow us to go and do a certain population or certain zip codes,  it has to meet the 1B criteria and then they are prioritized by Dallas County Health and PCCI as we get the list. It doesn’t mean if you are in a particular area that we can prioritize people that live over there,” Vaz told the station.

Vaz also said the site is open to anyone in the state based on its designation as a hub.

“We’re asking people please schedule an appointment as soon as you get that email, phone, or text, because, as we know, there are over 400,000 people waiting to get vaccines and all we can do this week is 5,000,” Vaz said.

PCCI’s MyPCI app informs uers of COVID-19 exposure risk

The Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation Wednesday announced they’d released the  MyPCI App, which is exclusive to Dallas County, that’s meant to help people make informed choices by providing an on-demand, location-based personal risk assessment of possible COVID-19 exposure.

The MyPCI App, which is free to register and use, is a secure, cloud-based tool that doesn’t require personal health information and doesn’t track an individual’s mobile phone data.

Instead, it’s a machine learning algorithm, geomapping and hot-spotting technology that uses daily updated data from the Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) on confirmed positive COVID-19 cases and the population density in a given neighborhood. Based on density and distances to those nearby who are infected, the MyPCI App generates a dynamic personal risk score.

To use the MyPCI App, go to the website, and register (using code: GP-7xI6QT). Registration includes a request for location information to generate a risk assessment.

“Proximity continues to remain one of the most important factors in pandemic management and personal protection,” said PCCI President and CEO Steve Miff. “While we wait to receive a vaccine, we can control our own risk of exposure and help bend the curve.  The MyPCI App is a simple to use tool that will give you an understanding of the COVID-19 risks in your vicinity and reinforce the need for social distancing, face covering and hand washing.”

The app is built on the PCCI COVID-19 Proximity Index designed for the Parkland Health & Hospital System. The Proximity Index looked at the proximal risk score of patients who were scheduled for in-person medical appointments.

Data analyses from over 500,000 Parkland patients indicates that an individual with a high or very high proximity index had a seven times higher risk of ending up being infected.

“I am pleased that PCCI is making this service available to the public, as it uses the same tool which has helped us at Parkland better care for the Dallas County community by providing important information that indicates one’s risk for developing COVID,” said Parkland Chief Medical Informatics Officer Brett Moran. “Parkland and PCCI have been using these algorithms from early in the pandemic to effectively provide outreach to high-risk individuals which helps them as well as their family, friends and the community at large.”

The MyPCI App is also available at Parkland using the PARK-xaoHtR registration code. It is also available at the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department using DCHHS-62ta7b registration code.

“We have been pleased throughout this pandemic to be partnering with PCCI so that we can use their cutting-edge technology and data applications to address COVID-19,” said Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang. “This latest tool is another example of how Dallas County benefits from the tremendous resources and partnerships we have here.”

An early, enterprise-wide adopter of the MyPCI App is the Diocese of Dallas Catholic Schools. The Diocese of Dallas Catholic Schools represents more than 61,000 students in 38 different schools, many of which are in Dallas County.

“We are always looking to innovate and partnering with PCCI on this initiative is a great opportunity to empower our parents and families with information that makes them engaged partners with our team in containing the virus and keeping our staff and students safe,” said Catholic Diocese of Dallas Superintendent of Schools Matt Vereecke.

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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