Dia De Los Muertos Takes On New Meaning At Dallas Event, Dallas County Reports A Big Case Count Spike And DISD Receives Rapid Tests For Student-Athletes.

Since Dallas County rounded the 100,000 case mark last week, there have been some ups and some downs along the socially distanced candy chute — including, unfortunately, mask orders at the polls still being contested.

Yes, for the most part, Halloween was a bust — unless you found a nice drive-through candy dispenser, or maybe participated in an awkward costume party where (hopefully) everyone was masked up and the punchbowl wasn’t too crowded.

On the good news front, it looks like alcohol delivery is here to stay even post-COVID. (It will end eventually, right?)

Make no mistake, though, this week’s round-up is, as ever, mostly filled with bad news.

  • On‌ ‌Monday,‌ ‌Dallas‌ ‌County‌ ‌reported‌ ‌an‌ ‌additional‌ 1,516 ‌cases‌ ‌and‌ two ‌new deaths. Of those cases, 1,040 are probable. The stark 1,516 figure is a record-setting number, but it comes with a caveat: More than 1,000 of those are probably cases stemming from recently released antigen test results from the last two weeks of October‌. According to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, “the large amount of cases… can be attributed to… cases that were performed over a 15 day period. This is not really a backlog, but rather a bulk upload from outpatient clinics that have ramped up antigen testing this month.”

  • On‌ ‌Monday,‌ 4,026 ‌of‌ 5,882 ‌hospital‌ ‌beds‌ ‌were‌ ‌occupied,‌ ‌bringing‌ ‌total‌ ‌occupancy‌ ‌to‌ ‌68 percent. ‌Of 911 total ‌ICU‌ ‌beds, 636 ‌were‌ ‌filled‌, ‌whereas‌ 346 ‌of‌ ‌Dallas’‌ ‌984 ‌ventilators‌ ‌were‌ ‌in‌ ‌use.‌

  • The League of United Latin American Citizens partnered with Cara Mía Theatre for a Day of The Dead demonstration downtown. The socially distanced caravan was organized to protest both statewide and national-level coronavirus responses. It was also used as a way to highlight the weighted impact the pandemic has had on the Latin American community. The caravan was led by large traditional calavera floats that launched from Cathedral Guadalupe on Ross Avenue and terminated at City Hall. One of the calaveras sported a red cap with the slogan “It’s Not My Fault” in place of the stomach-churning MAGA phrase — all as part of an effort to emphasize the current administration’s laissez faire approach to things. Notably, President Trump personally used the day to further insult Latin Americans by proclaiming it a “National Day of Remembrance For Americans Killed By Illegal Immigrants.” Footage of the even can be found here.
  • Grand Prairie City Council member Jim Swafford’s wife died of COVID-19 Thursday. Swafford is also hospitalized with the disease. The couple reportedly contracted coronavirus three weeks ago. Swafford has been involved in city governance since the late ’70s. He and his wife Judy had been married for 57 years.
  • DISD has received 15,000 rapid COVID tests from the Texas Education Agency for the district’s student athletes. Practical social distancing isn’t possible during most competitive athletics. The hope is that regular testing before practice and game-time will help minimize spread of the virus and allow for fewer game cancellations. Tests are not mandatory and will remain subject to parental permission. The Dallas Morning News reported that 75 football games have been cancelled across North Texas this season. Eventually DISD plans to expand the testing program to general academics as well.
  • The TABC has added a Texas Responsible Alcohol Delivery certification course. Booze can still be delivered to your front door — but the TABC now wants to ensure it’s done safely and up to its own standards. The course is available to employees of businesses holding a TABC consumer delivery permit. It costs $25 and can be completed online. For more information, head here.
  • The Tarrant County Election Board added 56 ballot counters after many dropped out due to coronavirus concerns. The DMN reported that some of the counters cited concerns over working in close proximity to others. The new additions were recruited to help count faulty ballots that machines are unable to read. Two percent, or around 18,000 of the county’s estimated 900,000 ballots, are expected to be defective.

And thus ends our biweekly coronavirus news update. Be sure to check back in with us Friday for our next installment. In the meantime, remember to mask up, wash your hands and please practice social distancing whenever possible.

Cover photo via LULAC’s Facebook page.

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