Dallas County Matches Record 40 COVID-19 Deaths

As vaccines continue to be distributed, and Dallas County matched its record of 40 COVID-related deaths Monday, here’s what you need to know today:

  • Dallas County reports 1,427 COVID-19 cases, 40 deaths;
  • Dallas partnering with Methodist Health System on vaccine distribution;
  • SMU loans a subzero freezer to Dallas for vaccine storage.
Dallas County reports 1,427 COVID-19 cases, 40 deaths

Dallas County Monday reported 1,427 more COVID-19 cases–1,321 confirmed and 106 probable–and 40 deaths.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the county’s reported a cumulative total of 229,090 confirmed cases, 30,854 probable cases, and 2,231 deaths.

Among the deaths reported Monday were a Duncanville woman in her 30s, a Dallas man in his 30s, a Dallas woman in her 40s who was found dead at her home, a Duncanville woman in her 50s, a Garland man in his 50s who didn’t have underlying health conditions, a Richardson man in his 50s, a Dallas man in his 50s, two Dallas men in their 60s, a Carrollton man in his 60s who died in hospice, a Dallas woman in her 60s, a Mesquite man in his 60s, two Garland men in their 60s, a Mesquite woman in her 60s who died in a hospital emergency room, a Grand Prairie man in his 60s, a Duncanville woman in her 60s who died in a hospital emergency room, an Irving man in his 70s, a Dallas woman in her 70s who died in a hospital emergency room, another two Dallas women in their 70s, a Dallas man in his 70s who died in hospice care, a Garland man in his 70s, a Grand Prairie man in his 70s, a Dallas woman in her 80s, a Grand Prairie man in his 80s, a Dallas man in his 90s who died in a hospital emergency room, two Dallas women in their 90s, and an Irving man in his 90s.

Also among the deaths reported Monday were a woman in her 70s who lived at a Mesquite long-term care facility, a woman in her 70s who died in the Mesquite long-term care facility where she lived, a man in his 70s who died in the Richardson long-term care facility where he lived, a man in his 80s who died in the Richardson long-term care facility where he lived, a woman in her 80s who died in the Mesquite long-term care facility where she lived, a woman in her 80s who lived at a Dallas long-term care facility and died in hospice, a woman in her 80s who died at the Dallas long-term care facility where she lived, a woman in her 90s who died at the Mesquite long-term care facility where she lived, a woman in her 90s who lived at a Mesquite long-term care facility, and a woman in her 90s who died at the Mesquite long-term care facility where she lived.

“This ties our highest reported deaths on any given day. Deaths will be high for at least the next two weeks as they are the result of the high number of cases and spread in the community in December and January,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. “We must continue to make good choices and lower our numbers. We are seeing some improved numbers. Our hospitalizations are at 914 for today, and they dipped below 1,000 on Friday for the first time in several weeks. Similarly, our number of new infections was lower last week than in the previous week.”

UT Southwestern Medical Center’s data also shows the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 remains high in North Texas, but continues to decline from its peak in mid-January.

UTSW’s data show COVID-19 hospitalizations have decreased by 7% in the past two weeks.

UTSW’s model shows Dallas County total COVID-19 hospitalizations could reach between 600 and 920 concurrent hospitalized cases by Feb. 12, and roughly 1,400 new COVID-19 infections per day are expected by Feb. 12.

The county also reported 9,471 COVID-19 cases in school-aged children and staff reported from 733 separate K-12 schools 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). More than 80% of reported MIS-C cases in Dallas have occurred in children who are Hispanic or Black, the county says.

In Highland Park ISD as of Monday, the district reported two cases among staff assigned to Armstrong Elementary, one in a student there, three cases among staff members assigned to Boone, two among students there, one case in a staff member assigned to Bradfield, three among students there, two cases among students at Hyer, one case in a staff member at University Park, one case in a staff member at McCulloch Intermediate, three among students there, two cases among staff members assigned to Highland Park Middle School, three among students there, six cases among staff members assigned to Highland Park High School, and 26 among students there, according to the district’s COVID-19 webpage.

As of Monday, Dallas ISD reported 3,890 cases districtwide, 1,932 among campus staff, 408 among central staff, and 1,550 among students, according to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard.

The county also reported 113 active long-term care facility outbreaks as of Monday. A cumulative total of 3,776 residents and 2,149 healthcare workers in long-term facilities in Dallas have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Of these, 798 have been hospitalized and 436 have died. About 22% of all deaths reported to date have been associated with long-term care facilities. 

The county’s also reported 21 outbreaks of COVID-19 in congregate-living facilities such as homeless shelters, group homes, group homes, and halfway homes in the last 30 days.

A cumulative total of 378 residents and 173 staff members in congregate-living facilities in Dallas have been diagnosed with COVID-19. 

Vaccines continue to be rolled out.

The county said Monday 28,425 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given at the Fair Park mega-vaccine clinic, and Dallas County Health and Human Services received an allotment of 9,000 doses from the state for this week’s operations.

Dallas partnering with Methodist Health System on vaccine distribution

Mayor Eric Johnson announced Sunday that the city of Dallas is partnering with Methodist Health System to help distribute 4,875 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to the public this week.

Johnson, who serves as the City of Dallas Emergency Management Director, and the Office of Emergency Management have been discussing a potential partnership with Methodist for several weeks and began negotiating details last week. The agreement was finalized Sunday.

City officials believe the move could help alleviate scheduling and wait-time issues at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center while the city works to transition to a new scheduling system.

“I am proud that we were able to give out 5,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine last week, and we remain dedicated to inoculating as many people as we possibly can — and to scaling up our efforts as we move forward,” Johnson said. “We are also committed to being as agile as possible under the state’s guidelines as we try to create the best possible experience for our residents who need this lifesaving vaccine. I believe this partnership with one of our finest local medical institutions can elevate our efforts, and I am grateful to Methodist Health System for stepping up to help during this critical time.”

The city of Dallas will give out about 1,875 Pfizer doses on Wednesday and Thursday at the convention center. Those who are eligible will be contacted directly by the city of Dallas to schedule an appointment. Unauthorized appointments made through links shared by third parties will be canceled by the city.

Methodist plans to give out the other 3,000 doses on Thursday and Friday — about 1,500 each day — at Methodist Dallas Medical Center in Oak Cliff. Methodist will directly contact people who are registered on Dallas County’s wait list to schedule an appointment at the hospital.

“Methodist Health System is proud to partner with the City of Dallas to administer lifesaving COVID-19 vaccinations at Methodist Dallas Medical Center to our fellow citizens who need them the most,” said Methodist Health System CEO Jim Scoggin.

Methodist will provide information and directions to those who schedule appointments at the hospital.

Both parties will evaluate the partnership on a week-by-week basis, depending on the supply of vaccines made available to the city and to Methodist in the future.

SMU loans subzero freezer to Dallas for vaccine storage

SMU Monday temporarily loaned a subzero freezer to the city of Dallas to help store the new allotment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

A subzero freezer. PHOTO: City of Dallas

Mayor Eric Johnson made the request of SMU on Friday after the State of Texas notified the city of Dallas that it would receive 4,875 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for public distribution. The Pfizer vaccine must be stored at a temperature of -80 degrees Celsius, which is far colder than what was required to store the city’s allotment of the Moderna vaccine last week.

The subzero freezer had been used in the Department of Biological Sciences in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

“When we determined that we needed help with our vaccine distribution efforts, SMU made for a natural partner,” said Johnson. “This massive undertaking will require our community to work together, and I am incredibly grateful to SMU for stepping up during our city’s time of need.”

“SMU was eager to loan the freezer as soon as we learned of the need,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Our partnership with the City of Dallas is important, and we are grateful for the opportunity to help support vaccinating the community as quickly as possible.”

The city ordered a subzero freezer last year, but it has yet to arrive because of high demand. The city says the loan of the freezer will not delay or disrupt SMU’s plans to distribute vaccines to its campus when they become available to the university, which is partially located in Dallas city limits.

The 23-cubic-foot freezer arrived Monday morning at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, where the city gave out more than 5,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine last week. The city will resume vaccinations with the Pfizer vaccine on Wednesday and Thursday at the convention center. Methodist Dallas Medical Center, in partnership with the city, will also give out 3,000 of the Pfizer vaccine doses on Thursday and Friday.

The vaccines are given on an appointment-only basis, and only those who are invited directly by the City of Dallas or Methodist Health System will have their appointments honored. To receive an invitation, residents must be eligible under 1A or 1B criteria and must be registered on Dallas County’s COVID-19 vaccine wait list.

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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