Dallas County Experiences Its Deadliest Week To Date, Governor Abbott Warns ‘Worst Is Yet To Come,’ Parkland Receives Federal Assistance And Much More.
Texas is setting a number of records and none of them are good, including Dallas’ deadliest week Coronavirus-related deaths. But that’s just the tip of the developments from the weekend.
Here’s a look at things that have unfolded since our last update:
- Last week was officially the deadliest for Dallas County with a total of 54 deaths, bringing the total to 457 deaths county-wide. An additional 1,114 cases were reported Monday drawing the total case number to 34,914. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced on Saturday that last week was the deadliest week for the County on record thus far, and showed the highest average of new cases to date. Jenkins referred to the community spread of COVID-19 as “rampant” and reminded residents to stay masked up when out in public.
NEW: Dallas County Reports 1,114 Additional Positive 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cases and 6 Deaths pic.twitter.com/LOi8biKQ2X
— Clay Jenkins (@JudgeClayJ) July 13, 2020
- Gov. Greg Abbott warns “the worst is yet to come” amid a mention of possible statewide lockdown to help slow the spread of COVID-19. In an interview on Friday with KLBK TV in Lubbock, Abbott addressed the rise in cases, stating that if people continue to fight the face mask order, the only option left to slow the spread would be an economic lockdown. He continues to urge Texans to continue to wear their masks to keep the state and economy open.
- Federal medical teams will provide back-up to the medical staff at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. The assistance will come from a Disaster Medical Assistance Team after Gov. Abbott and Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson requested support from the federal government. As Jenkins explained, once the team arrives, they will work in two-week sprints to allow the hospital to hire more nurses since there is a demand for nursing. In the city of Dallas, hospital capacity has not been reached, but more beds have been ordered in hopes of staying ahead of any surges.
- The City of Dallas will transition away from federal testing kits. In a press release on Monday night, Mayor Eric Johnson announced plans to move forward without federal testing support citing delays in results specifically from federal test kits. “Accordingly, Parkland staff will take over the Ellis Davis Field House drive-through testing site and will administer up to 500 tests each day,” the statement reads. “The swabs will be taken to a local lab, which will hopefully allow us to receive results in a more timely manner.”
- American Airlines is now investigating a claim that Texas Senator Ted Cruz was not wearing a face mask on a recent flight. A tweet surfaced Sunday that shows Sen. Cruz holding a cup of coffee and looking down at his phone with no face mask in sight. The airline face mask policy states masks need to be worn at all times on flights except when eating or drinking. Those who do not follow the requirement may be barred from future flights. A spokesperson for Sen. Cruz stated he removed his mask to drink but put it back on afterwards. However, a second photo of Cruz was shared sitting in an airport terminal still not wearing a mask. Another user shared a photo of him wearing a mask on a separate flight afterward but did not mention which airline he was flying.
- Tests and equipment were stolen from a free walk-up testing clinic in Pleasant Grove. Not even a deadly pandemic is enough to keep some people from being the worst, as a new testing location at The Salvation Army’s Pleasant Grove Corps Community Center could no longer administer any tests Monday as originally scheduled. This site is a relocation of the one at the Inspired Vision Compassion Center, which closed Friday. Thankfully, Parkland officials plan to have the testing center up and running on Tuesday.
- Rapid-result testing is available at two Mesquite primary care clinics. These tests could cut the wait times for results from upwards of seven days to a mere 15 minutes. The clinics are affiliated with the Dallas Regional Medical and are located at 2704 N. Galloway Ave., Suite 103 and 820 E. Cartwright Rd., Suite 100. Appointments are not required, but the staffers ask that those getting tested wait in their vehicle and call the locations upon arrival.
- Free masks will be handed out in Arlington at a dive-thru event on Thursday as part of the city’s efforts to combat the virus. The city began distributing face masks as part of their Road to Reopen and Recover plan and have distributed over 200,000 with donations from Tarrant County. Arlington residents can claim one box of 50 disposable face masks from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m at the Arlington ISD Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center parking lot.
- Dallas County tax offices will no longer allow any face-to-face interactions and have closed down offices to the public. Residents will now have to pay online or through mail to pay property taxes and fulfill motor vehicles services, such as registration renewal. Those who have any additional questions or concerns can contact the The Dallas County Tax Office’s Customer Care Center at 214-653-7811 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m
- DFW Lovefield passengers can now purchase PPE out of a vending machine. The airport made the announcement in a tweet which states the PPE machine can be found by the TSA checkpoint in front of Texas Monthly.
- The Texas Rangers are calling for fans to send their “DoppelRanger” to fill the stands for the upcoming MLB season. Playing in an empty stadium is just not the same, so the Texas Rangers have come up with a brilliant solution: Create 2-D cutouts of fans to pop into the stands! For $50 per cutout, the “fans” will be placed in a permanent location in the stadium for the season. All proceeds will go to the Texas Rangers Baseball foundation. To purchase a “DopplerRanger” or to get more information, visit the team’s website.
That’s all for the COVID-19 weekend update. Check back with us on Thursday for another look at developments as they unfold this week.