Dallas County Reports Fewer Additional Cases And Lower Hospitalization Rates, Dallas-Area Universities Already Reporting New Cases And More.

It seemed last week that coronavirus cases were on a never-ending rise, but in a rare morsel of good news, this increase has pumped the breaks even if just temporarily. Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson even pointed this out on Monday while warning Dallasites, “This is no time to let your guard down.”

For more on this, here are some of the latest developments in North Texas:

  • On Monday, Dallas County reported 182 additional cases and zero deaths. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Dallas County to 69,086, and the death toll to 857. In a positive twist, fewer than 100 of these new cases were from August. Dallas Count Judge Clay Jenkins said this is the first time the county has reported less than 100 new cases since April 27.

    • 3,897 out of 5,958 hospital beds in Dallas are occupied, which brings the total occupancy to approximately 65 percent. 620 out of 944 ICU beds are filled, while 339 out of 995 ventilators are in use.

  • The Texas Department of State Health Services reports the state’s lowest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in more than eight weeks. As of publish, there are 5,186 coronavirus hospitalizations in Texas, which is significantly lower than last week’s count of 6,267.
  • Several universities in North Texas are already reporting clusters in the early days of students returning to classes. The Dallas Morning News reported that while many of the schools have reported low case counts so far, SMU has 19 as of publish, while TCU currently reports 111. Despite the already-concerning outcomes of other universities’ plans across the country, many of the schools told the DMN they would wait to see how other area universities would react in the event of considerable case increases.
  • Denton ISD students will begin classes according to a “hybrid” schedule, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle. Under this arrangement, the majority of students will continue class online, but “a very small percentage” will take classes online at designated campus facilities. Pending a waiver from the Texas Education Agency, the district could potentially designate certain days of the week for select students, who will spend the remainder of the week learning from home.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency gave an emergency exemption to American Airlines for use of an antiviral surface coating called SurfaceWise2 on planes in Texas. Dallas-based manufacturer Allied Bioscience markets it as an “Eco-Friendly Cleaning Product,” and independent lab studies have corroborated its efficacy against COVID-19, but the main ingredient – quaternary ammonia – has been known to cause respiratory illnesses such as asthma.
  • About 350,000 Texans won’t qualify for extra $300 in unemployment benefits issued by the Trump Administration. People who already receive less than $100 in unemployment benefits will not be eligible for the bump in benefits, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. This announcement comes as the state unemployment rate still hovers around eight percent.

That concludes our biweekly COVID-19 news roundup. Be sure to wear a mask, practice social distancing and stay home as often as possible. And to echo what Mayor Johnson said earlier: Don’t let your guard down.

Cover image via WikiCommons.

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