Dallas County Reports New Deadliest Day of Pandemic

As Dallas County reported a new single-day high of 50 COVID-19-related deaths Wednesday, and vaccines continue to be distributed, here’s what you need to know today:

  • Dallas County reports 1,356 more COVID-19 cases, 50 deaths;
  • Vaccinations resume at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
Dallas County Reports 1,356 COVID-19 cases, 50 deaths

Dallas County Wednesday reported 1,356 more COVID-19 cases  – 1,016 confirmed and 340 probable – and 50 deaths, the most deaths reported in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the county’s reported a cumulative total of 231,411 confirmed cases, 31,327 probable cases, and 2,320 deaths.

Among the additional deaths reported Wednesday were two Dallas men in their 40s, one of whom didn’t have underlying conditions, a Richardson man in his 40s, a Dallas woman in her 40s, a Dallas man in his 50s, a Richardson man in his 50s who didn’t have underlying conditions, two Dallas men in their 60s, two Mesquite men in their 60s, two Dallas women in their 60s, a Rowlett man in his 60s, two Garland men in their 60s, one of whom didn’t have underlying conditions, a Garland woman in her 60s, an Irving man in his 60s, a Carrollton woman in her 60s who didn’t have underlying conditions, a Grand Prairie man in his 60s, three Dallas women in their 70s, a Dallas man in his 70s, a Grand Prairie man in his 70s, an Irving man in his 70s, a Dallas man in his 80s who didn’t have underlying conditions, a Richardson man in his 80s, a Garland man in his 80s who died in hospice, a Farmers Branch woman in her 80s, and a Coppell woman in her 90s who died in hospice.

Also among the deaths reported Wednesday were a woman in her 50s who lived at a Duncanville long-term care facility, a man in his 60s who lived at a Balch Springs long-term care facility, a man in his 60s who died at the Mesquite long-term care facility where he lived, a woman in her 60s who died at the Irving long-term care facility where she lived, a woman in her 70s who lived at a Richardson long-term care facility, two women in their 80s who died at the Carrollton long-term care facilities where they lived, a woman in her 80s who lived at a Dallas long-term care facility, a man in his 80s who lived at a Dallas long-term care facility, a man in his 80s who lived at a Duncanville long-term care facility and died in hospice, a man in his 80s who died at the Mesquite long-term care facility where he lived, a woman in her 90s who lived at a Lancaster long-term care facility, a woman in her 90s who died at the Dallas long-term care facility where she lived, a man in his 90s who lived at a Dallas long-term care facility and died in a hospital emergency room, a man in his 90s who died at the Richardson long-term care facility where he lived, a man in his 90s who lived at a Dallas long-term care facility, a woman in her 90s 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, and a woman in her 100s who lived at a Dallas long-term care facility and died in hospice.

“As we have said, these will be our darkest months for deaths thus far,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. “But, if we make good choices, if we register to be vaccinated in as many places as we’re willing to drive to if we qualify under 1B, and if we wear our mask, maintain our distance, avoid crowds including Super Bowl parties, and forgo get-togethers, we will have a better March and get better every month thereafter in our battle against COVID and these new strains.”

Dallas County reported 932 COVID-19 patients in hospitals Tuesday, and the number of emergency room visits for COVID-19 like symptoms in Dallas County was 540 for the same time-period, which represents around 20 percent of all emergency department visits in the county according to information reported to the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council. 

UT Southwestern Medical Center’s data projects total hospitalizations could continue to decline in Dallas and Tarrant Counties.

Distribution of COVID-19 vaccines continues.

The county reported 34,165 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered at the Fair Park mega-vaccine clinic.

With the additional allotment from the state, as of Wednesday, there were a little over 3,000 doses remaining for the week.

There have been 8,556 COVID-19 cases in school-aged children and staff reported from 739 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).
As of Wednesday, Highland Park ISD reported 16 cases among staff members and 40 cases among students.

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

Dallas ISD reported 3,977 total cases districtwide, 1,973 among campus staff, 416 among central staff, and 1,588 among students as of Wednesday, according to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard.

The county also reported 112 active long-term care facility outbreaks. 

A cumulative total of 3,838 residents and 2,169 healthcare workers in long-term facilities in Dallas have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Of these, 817 have been hospitalized and 448 have died. About 22% of all deaths reported to date have been associated with long-term care facilities. Sixteen outbreaks of COVID-19 in congregate-living facilities, like homeless shelters, group homes, or halfway homes, have also been reported in the past 30 days. A cumulative total of 378 residents and 187 staff members in congregate-living facilities in Dallas have been diagnosed with COVID-19. 

Vaccinations resume at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center

COVID-19 inoculations resumed Wednesday at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center as the city began to distribute nearly 2,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

The first two hours of Wednesday’s operations were reserved for people who were unable to receive their vaccine on Saturday after the city ran out of doses. Last week, the city vaccinated 5,257 people with Moderna doses during its first three days as a public vaccine provider.

“I am proud of the way our city has stepped up to help vaccinate as many people as we can, and I am grateful for all of our partners who are helping us in this massive and critical undertaking,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said. “Each vaccine dose that we give out saves lives and represents a step toward ending this awful pandemic.”

The Office of Emergency Management released a graphic late Thursday that shows the ZIP codes of those who responded to a post-vaccination survey at the convention center. The city’s doses, which are supplied by the state, cannot be restricted to only city of Dallas residents. The city is working to develop a dashboard to visualize the demographic data it collects.

Dallas Fire-Rescue has also made interim changes to its scheduling system to require people to enter their unique Dallas County registration number to book their appointments. The intent is to help alleviate a link-sharing problem that had allowed people to make unauthorized appointments without an invitation from the city.

The Office of Emergency Management, led by Rocky Vaz, continues to explore other, more secure scheduling software options.

“We have seen challenges with vaccine distribution across the country, but we know how important it is to get this process right,” said Vaz, who serves as the city’s Emergency Management Coordinator. “Our team is working hard to identify and respond to hiccups in our system, and we are committed to creating the best possible experience for people who need this lifesaving vaccine.”

Methodist Health System will distribute about 3,000 of the city’s Pfizer doses today and tomorrow.

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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