Gov. Abbott Gets The Vaccine, Some Texas Republicans Vote Against The New Stimulus Package And The Rose Bowl Is Set To Come To AT&T Stadium.
A lot has happened since we last checked in on the latest updates in pandemic news in North Texas.
Last week, the first nurse in Dallas was given the vaccine, Texas case counts continued to climb at concerning rates and Denton County hit a record-high in active cases.
There is a bit of good news this week: Congress has passed a second stimulus bill that will provide hundreds of billions in aid, and yes, a second, considerably lower stimulus check. Locally, the governor received an early Pfizer vaccine while Texas announced its plans for the next group of people to receive it after healthcare workers.
Here’s a rundown of what’s happening in North Texas this week.
- On Tuesday, Dallas county reported 2,088 confirmed cases and 30 new deaths. This brings the cumulative case count to 158,354 and the total death toll to 1,514. Additionally, the county reported 276 probable cases.
NEW: Dallas County Reports 2,366 New Positive 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cases and 30 Deaths
Including 278 Probable Cases pic.twitter.com/vOCLcCJT6S
— Clay Jenkins (@JudgeClayJ) December 22, 2020
- Reports from 25 Dallas-area hospitals on Thursday showed 4,209 out of 5,906 total beds were occupied. Additionally, 737 of 931 ICU beds were occupied, while 439 of 1,036 ventilators were in use.
Here are the bed and ventilator capacity statistics as reported by 25 hospitals in the @CityOfDallas:
Total beds: 5906
Beds occupied: 4209 (71%)
Total ICU beds: 931
ICU beds occupied: 737 (79%)
Total ventilators: 1036
Ventilators in use: 439 (42%)
— Mayor Eric Johnson (@Johnson4Dallas) December 21, 2020
- On Monday, 10 congressional Republicans voted against the latest stimulus bill. The bill provides nearly $900 billion in economic relief, which includes $600 stimulus checks to people who made less than $75,000 in 2019. Comparatively, all 13 of the Democratic members of Texas’ delegation voted in favor of passing the bill.
- After healthcare workers, Texans with chronic illnesses and health conditions and senior citizens will receive the next round of vaccines. This decision comes despite federal guidance recommendations that people over the age of 75 as well as essential workers like firefighters, teachers and grocery workers be next in line. We’re still a ways off from this second group receiving the vaccine, though, as the nearly 2 million healthcare workers and long-term care residents have priority.
- Latino and Black Texans are dying from COVID-19 at younger ages and disproportionately higher rates. According to an analysis by the Dallas Morning News, the death rate is four times higher for Hispanic Texans between the ages of 25 and 64 than it is for white people of the same ages. Black Texans among the same age group are dying at about twice the rate of white people, as well. For more on this, read the DMN’s excellently in-depth analysis
- TCU will receive 100 doses of the new Moderna Vaccine. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the TCU Health Center staff will be the first to receive the vaccine, which was approved by the FDA for emergency use. The Fort Worth university is one of 36 Texas universities that signed up to be providers as the vaccine becomes more readily available.
- Gov. Greg Abbott received the Pfizer vaccine on Tuesday. Just before he got the vaccine, Abbott told reporters, “I will never ask any Texan to do something that I’m not willing to do myself.” This, of course, comes after months of public criticism have shadowed Abbott’s handling of the pandemic from Democrats and Republicans alike, albeit for varying reasons.
- The Rose Bowl will be moved to AT&T Stadium for the CFP semifinal. On Saturday, the Rose Bowl announced it would move the January 1 game to the Arlington stadium. The decision was made due to the rising number of COVID cases in Southern California and as a way to skirt California’s statewide restrictions that do not allow the hosting of fans or teams’ families.
Cover image via KXAN screenshot.