DFW Airport Again Halts Flights After An Air Traffic Controller Tested Positive For The Virus, Texas Sees Another Record-High In Hospitalizations And More.

As expected, the comedown of the holiday season is seeing a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Texas is no exception.

On Sunday, the state reported its highest number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 since the pandemic began. This rise is emblematic of a nationwide struggle as the U.S. also hit its highest reported hospitalizations thus far on Sunday.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said on Monday that January and February are likely to see the county’s highest counts of cases and hospitalizations since the pandemic began. That’s all just the tip of the iceberg for this week’s pandemic-related news in North Texas.

  • On Tuesday, Dallas County reported 2,563 confirmed cases and 20 new deaths. This brings the cumulative case count to 182,156 and the total death toll to 1,698. Additionally, the county reported 231 probable cases.

  • Reports from 25 hospitals in Dallas showed 4,214 out of 5,908 total beds were occupied as of Monday. Additionally, 713 of 939 ICU beds were occupied, while 445 of 1,027 ventilators were in use.

  • Texas hit another record-high in COVID-19 hospitalizations on Sunday. The state reported 12,563 COVID-19 patients, which marked the sixth time in the last week of reported record hospitalizations. Further, according to Johns Hopkins University, one in five COVID-19 tests in Texas is reported positive.
  • Flights at DFW Airport were again delayed due to COVID-19 concerns on Monday. The Federal Aviation Administration paused air traffic Monday evening after an air traffic controller tested positive for the virus. This comes after all flights at both DFW and Love Field were grounded last week due, in part, to COVID-19. Monday’s pause in operations lasted about an hour and delayed more than 100 flights at DFW.
  • Dallas County Health Director Philip Haung says about 50,000 people in the county have registered to receive a COVID-19 vaccine so far. The county health department opened an online registry for the vaccine on Saturday for people eligible under the current phases of vaccine administration, including health care workers, long-term care facilities, people who are 65 years or older and anyone above the age of 16 with chronic health issues. Dallas residents can register here.
  • On Sunday, U.S. airports had their highest foot traffic day since the pandemic began. About 1.3 million people traveled through airports on January 3. The high number comes at the tail-end of the holiday season as many return home. While it’s a good sign for airlines — which saw more than double the passengers during the same time period in 2019 — health experts heavily suggested avoiding holiday travel.
  • The contact tracing firm that helped New Zealand essentially eliminate the pandemic from the country is looking to Texas with its Austin office. SaferMe is a contact tracing company that New Zealand used throughout its thorough pandemic response policies and whose CEO told the Dallas Morning News he hopes to bring similar success to North America. Notably, New Zealand has been arguably the most successful country in mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks in part to contact tracing, which the U.S. has not implemented on a grand scale.

Cover image via WikiCommons.

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