Dallas County Receives Vast Amount Of Back-Logged Test Results, School Is Back In DFW, Texas Becomes Fourth State To Surpass 10,000 COVID-19 Deaths & More.
Stop us if this sounds familiar, but coronavirus numbers in North Texas are continually on the rise again. And with school coming back into session, there is trepidation among public health experts that this spread will only worsen over time.
For more on this, here are some of the latest developments:
- On Monday, Dallas County reported 1850 additional cases and four new deaths. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Dallas County to 65,278, and the death toll to 829. The number of additional cases for this week is significantly higher in part due to a data backlog stemming from a coding error by the Texas Department of State Health Services’ laboratory reporting system. Monday’s numbers followed renewed concerns on Sunday when County Judge Clay Jenkins announced the county reported 5,361 additional cases. Due to the backlog, a majority of the cases from Sunday’s number were from July. However, Jenkins said because county health officials were not made aware of the excess cases prior to Sunday, contact tracing and follow-ups were not done on the 5,195 prior cases.
NEW: Dallas County Reports 1,850 Additional Positive 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cases and 4 Deaths pic.twitter.com/c9c4JJmj4y
— Clay Jenkins (@JudgeClayJ) August 17, 2020
- Texas has become the fourth state to surpass 10,000 COVID-19 deaths. On Monday, Texas joined New Jersey, New York and California among the states with more than 10,000 confirmed deaths. Roughly 80 percent of the state’s deaths were reported after June 1, just a few weeks after Gov. Greg Abbott rolled back lockdown restrictions in May. Sufficient data of the latter to indicate a significant correlation with the former is not available at this time.
- 4,062 out of 5,948 hospital beds in Dallas are occupied at the moment, which brings the total occupancy to approximately 68 percent. 610 out of 934 ICU beds are filled, while 365 out of 997 ventilators are in use.
Here are the bed and ventilator capacity statistics as reported by 25 hospitals in the @CityOfDallas:
Total beds: 5948
Beds occupied: 4062 (68%)
Total ICU beds: 934
ICU beds occupied: 610 (65%)
Total ventilators: 997
Ventilators in use: 365 (37%)
— Mayor Eric Johnson (@Johnson4Dallas) August 16, 2020
- The City and County of Dallas announced Monday that it will end its testing partnership with Honu Management Group. The city’s decision to end the contract with the Washington-based company comes after the county health department found the Honu testing location was reporting result delays as much as seven days. Parkland Hospital systems will take over testing at the Eastfield College testing site going forward.
- Monday marked the first day of school for school districts all across North Texas, including Arlington, Grand Prairie, Mesquite, Coppell and others. Some schools have already resumed in-person class sessions, while the aforementioned districts and others are going virtual until after Labor Day. A recent study from the University of Texas projects that as many as 78 people could become infected in the first week of in-person classes at a Dallas County school that serves a size of around 3,000 people.
- With the fall semester right around the corner, dorm/residence hall occupancy at Texas Woman’s University and University of North Texas reached numbers that were close to those initially projected. Daniel Armitage, UNT’s Vice President of Auxiliary Services, told the Denton Record-Chronicle that 923 out of an anticipated 931 students checked in on Friday, while 771 students checked in the following day. These numbers fall short of usual trends, but UNT is still expecting approximately 5,800 on-campus residents this semester, while TWU is expecting 1,800.
- Texas Christian University law professor Robert Rhodes died Friday from complications of COVID-19, school officials reported. “We are devastated to lose a member of our Texas Christian University family,” Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. said in a statement. “Dr. Rhodes had a heart for students, as evidenced by the numerous teaching nominations and awards he received. His academic contributions and impact on students, colleagues and TCU will never be forgotten.”
That concludes our biweekly COVID-19 news roundup. Be sure to wear a mask, practice social distancing and stay home as often as possible. If this didn’t bear repeating, we wouldn’t be doing these biweekly roundups.