Collin County Has ‘No Confidence’ In the State’s Reported Coronavirus Numbers, Texas Seeks Billions For Unemployment, Movie Theaters Are Reopening And More.
Reported trends have continually indicated an almost-exponential rise in COVID-19 cases all across Texas and the United States, but people are raising an eyebrow after Collin County officials expressed uncertainty of the recent data’s veracity.
For more on this, here are some of the latest developments:
- On Thursday, Dallas County reported 308 additional cases and three deaths. Thursday’s report brings the total number of confirmed cases in Dallas County to 66,772, and the death toll to 846. Of the additional cases, County Judge Clay Jenkins said 204 are older numbers coming from the state’s recent backlog.
NEW: Dallas County Reports 308 Positive 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cases and 3 Deaths pic.twitter.com/VJuLX6ImID
— Clay Jenkins (@JudgeClayJ) August 20, 2020
- 4,171 out of 5,958 hospital beds in Dallas are occupied, which brings the total occupancy to about 70 percent. 641 out of 937 ICU beds are filled, while 363 out of 995 ventilators are in use.
Here are the bed and ventilator capacity statistics as reported by 25 hospitals in the @CityOfDallas:
Total beds: 5958
Beds occupied: 4171 (70%)
Total ICU beds: 937
ICU beds occupied: 641 (68%)
Total ventilators: 995
Ventilators in use: 363 (36%)
— Mayor Eric Johnson (@Johnson4Dallas) August 20, 2020
- Following a recent clearing of backlog cases, Collin County officials released a disclaimer on the county’s COVID-19 dashboard stating they are not confident in the data provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services. The note reads: “Warning: Collin County is providing COVID-19 numbers and data as a convenience to our residents. However, because we have been made aware of inaccuracies in the Department of State Health Services’ reporting, we must advise residents that Collin County has no confidence in the data currently being provided to us.” Collin County Commissioners Court Judge Chris Hill expanded on this in a Facebook post, “Unfortunately, the reports and case totals continue to be plagued by mistakes and errors…The Commissioners Court is 100% certain that the COVID-19 data being reported for Collin County is inaccurate.”
- Per the suggestion of the Dallas County Health Authority, Dallas ISD has extended the period of virtual instruction to include the entire first month of the 2020 school year. “Not everybody is going to be happy with that decision,” said superintendent Michael Hinojosa to the Dallas Morning News. “But it is what it is, given the context that we’re in.” Furthermore, the district will have to wait an additional two to three weeks before it can resume athletic activities.
- More than 3.2 million Texans have filed for unemployment relief since mid-March. According to the Texas Tribune, economic strife stemming from COVID-19 has left the Texas Workforce Commission’s unemployment insurance office busy and understaffed. Furthermore, with the future of extended payments uncertain thanks to the Republican-controlled Senate’s rejection of the HEROES Act, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the state has applied for $7.2 billion in federal funds to give unemployed Texans a $300/week boost.
- Uber is partnering with NimbleRx — a prescription medication delivery service — to offer same-day or next-day pharmaceutical delivery to people in Dallas and Seattle. If successful, this business model could make social distancing for patients easier, but given the myriad of regulations in place for pharmacies, there could potentially be barriers for this pilot run. For example, state law mandates that pharmacists and pharmacy techs have to check the patient’s government-issued identification before they can dispense controlled substances.
- Movie theaters throughout DFW are reopening, including franchised locations for AMC, Alamo Drafthouse and Cinemark. All theaters have issued statements and guidelines outlining seemingly rigorous social distancing and sanitation practices. Some opened Thursday while others will open next week.
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 you’re considering going to the movies, just remember that Netflix is still a thing, and you don’t have to wait in line to watch Teenage Bounty Hunters.