Hospitalization Rates Test Gov. Greg Abbott, Concerns Emerge Over Dallas’ Renter Assistance Program And Tarrant County Hits 100,000 Cases. 

We spent last week counting our blessings, but unfortunately the coronavirus is ravaging on post-Thanksgiving.

The North Texas Trauma Service region has reported a 15 percent hospitalization rate for four days straight now. That could mean businesses in DFW will be forced to scale their capacity back to 50%, and bars may have to close their doors — assuming the governor doesn’t flip-flop on his pandemic response again.

Here are the latest updates in COVID-19 news in North Texas:

  • On‌ ‌Monday,‌ ‌Dallas‌ ‌County‌ ‌reported‌ ‌an‌ ‌additional‌ 702 ‌cases‌ ‌and‌ 5 ‌new deaths.‌ ‌‌Of‌ ‌the ‌cases,‌ 18 ‌are‌ probable. ‌This‌ ‌brings‌ ‌the‌ ‌total‌ ‌cumulative case‌ ‌count‌ ‌to 126,690 ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌death‌ ‌toll‌ ‌to‌ ‌1,212.‌ ‌

  • In total,‌ 4,014 ‌of‌ 5,866 ‌Dallas hospital‌ ‌beds‌ ‌were‌ ‌occupied,‌ ‌bringing‌ Monday’s ‌occupancy‌ ‌to‌ ‌68%.‌ Of 925 total ‌ICU‌ ‌beds, 701 ‌were‌ ‌filled‌ ‌while‌ 384 ‌of‌ ‌Dallas’‌ 998 ‌ventilators‌ ‌were‌ ‌in‌ ‌use.‌

  • Tarrant County crossed the 100,000 case mark last week. That benchmark is an accumulation of 89,224 confirmed cases and 11,426 probable cases. Tarrant County has also reported  71,114 recoveries, and 893 deaths. Meanwhile, Dallas County released reports for the week of November 14 showing 1,282 children tested positive for COVID-19. Since November 1, Dallas County schools have had an influx of 3,630 cases among students and staff.
  • The North Texas Trauma Service Area hospitalization rate exceeded 15% for four straight days. According to Gov. Greg Abbott’s October executive order that opened bars and allowed businesses to open at 75% capacity, if the rate stays above 15% for seven days, bars will be forced to close and other businesses will have to reduce capacity to 50%. The order is affected by region and the North Texas TSA includes 19 counties in the DFW metroplex. Several other regions in Texas, including the El Paso area, have already hit that seven day mark while quite a few others have been at 15% for at least a day or more. 
  • A recent report shows the pandemic has affected women more negatively than men in terms of employment. Women aged 25 to 54 lost 30,000 more jobs than men since January, for a total loss of 2.83 million jobs. Also, around 700,000 more women have left the workforce than men since the onset of COVID-19. The industries of leisure and hospitality, education/health services and government (which includes public school teachers) employ larger percentages of women than men, and make up some of the hardest hit industries with nearly 4 million unemployed workers between them. 
  • Difficulties in the bureaucracy surrounding renter’s assistance has left one in four renters in North Texas unable to qualify. Providing proof of job loss on the applications has proved to be one major difficulty for North Texans. The city has partnered with 26 nonprofit organizations to help distribute funding, but local leaders will have to get on the ball to help out the community or risk having that federal aid shipped back to D.C. Local governments have until December 30 to spend the federal dollars allocated to them, but it’s estimated that up to 20 million in Dallas’ program has yet to be spent.

That does it for today’s coronavirus news. Check back Friday for more updates, and please, remember to mask up and stay vigilant. Things are only expected to get worse. 

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