Dallas County Reaches 1,000 Total Deaths, DART To Give Free Rides To The Polls, Dr. Pepper Ballpark Offers Free Saliva Tests And Much More.

Hey, remember earlier this week when the lion’s share of news tidbits concerned the general election? Well, we’re sorry to inform you that this round of COVID-19 briefs is yet another deluge of that.

Here are the latest pandemic-related updates in North Texas:

  • On Thursday, Dallas County reported 704 additional cases and three new deaths. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Dallas County to 79,426, and the death toll to 1,005. Of these new cases, 563 of them are from backlogs of previous months, which means 141 of them are new.

  • 4,222 out of 5,845 hospital beds in Dallas are occupied, which brings the total occupancy to approximately 72%. 637 out of 916 ICU beds are filled, while 344 out of 996 ventilators are in use.

  • Texas has officially amassed 15,000 coronavirus deaths, just days after the United States reached a devastating 200,000 on Tuesday. And as you can see from the above data, over 1,000 of those deaths come from Dallas County alone.
  • In compliance with a federal judge’s mandate, the state of Texas’ online systems are now allowing residents to register to vote while electronically updating their driver’s licenses. This stems from a six-year lawsuit in which San Antonio resident Jarrod Stringer was informed at a polling station that he wasn’t registered to vote, despite clicking “yes” when given an option to register on the Texas Department of Public Safety’s website. This news comes as many voters face concerns of in-person voting as the pandemic rages on.
  • Speaking of in-person voting, DART is now offering free rides to voters during the early voting period and Election Day. Click here for more info.
  • Gov. Greg Abbott being sued by Texas Republicans for his decision to extend the period by six days. The “official” reason for this lawsuit is because of what Texas GOP chairman Allen West and his colleagues allege to be executive overreach without say from the Texas Legislature, which is out of session until January.
  • Texas’ dip in unemployment is a pyrrhic victory for unemployed and underemployed residents, as it has put future benefits into jeopardy. Despite statewide unemployment declining to 6.8%, unemployment claims have only dropped by 3.8%, according to WFAA. Because High Unemployment Period (HUP) payments are contingent on an unemployment rate of at least 8%, applicants now have seven fewer weeks of benefits.
  • From now until Saturday, October 3, Frisco residents can schedule free saliva tests at Dr. Pepper Ballpark. The minor league baseball stadium will be taking appointments Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and can be scheduled here.
  • CVS is offering drive-thru COVID-19 tests at more than 2,600 locations across the country, including many dozens in North Texas. Residents of Dallas, Fort Worth, Coppell, Plano, Allen, Rockwall, Frisco, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, Irving, Garland, Richardson, Lewisville, McKinney, DeSoto, Duncanville, Corsicana, Denison, Grapevine, Keller, Corinth and North Richland Hills can go to any of these participating locations.
  • EveryoneEatz is giving out free meals in Richardson today. On Friday, September 25, the nonprofit will be giving out 1,500 free meals at LifeSmiles Dental Care. According to the Dallas Morning News, they will also have giveaways for free face masks and dental consultations.

That concludes our biweekly COVID-19 news roundup. Be sure to wear a mask, practice social distancing and skip needlessly going out. Unless, of course, you’re leaving the house to go vote. To that point, let us reiterate – THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS OCTOBER 5.

Sriya Reddy contributed to this article.

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