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Tarrant County Sees A Colossal Spike In Cases, Pharmaceutical Giant Pfizer Says Vaccine Trials Show Promising Results And Texas Still Leads Nation’s Cases. 

They say everything is bigger in Texas, but sometimes we really wish they didn’t. 

Last week, Texas hit its highest case count in three months. This week, the numbers are in and they are are bleak.

With cautiously positive vaccine news and a new national coronavirus task force on its way in, we’re seeing signs of hope for finally banishing this hellish year. At least there’s something to look forward to this time! 

  • On‌ ‌Monday,‌ ‌Dallas‌ ‌County‌ ‌reported‌ ‌an‌ ‌additional‌ 1,095 confirmed ‌cases‌ ‌and‌ 2 ‌new deaths.‌ ‌‌Of‌ ‌Monday’s ‌cases,‌ there are also an additional 153 probable cases‌. This‌ ‌brings‌ ‌the‌ ‌cumulative case ‌count‌ ‌to‌ 103,184 ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌total death‌ toll‌ ‌to‌ ‌1,134.‌

  • On‌ ‌Monday,‌ 4,261 ‌of‌ 5,882 ‌Dallas hospital‌ ‌beds‌ ‌were‌ ‌occupied,‌ ‌bringing‌ ‌total‌ ‌occupancy‌ ‌to‌ ‌72%.‌ Of 906 total ‌ICU‌ ‌beds, 674 ‌were‌ ‌filled,‌ ‌while‌ 360 ‌of‌ ‌Dallas’‌ ‌981 ‌ventilators‌ ‌were‌ ‌in‌ ‌use.‌

  • Texas is the first state expected to surpass 1,000,000 coronavirus cases. Reported by NBC Friday morning, this comes as the state is seeing an uptick in cases by nearly 40%, while deaths are up 10% over the course of the two weeks. More than 90% of both cases and deaths came after Governor Abbott loosened statewide coronavirus restrictions in May. The U.S. currently leads the world in both categories with over 9 Million cases, and over a quarter million dead.
  • Tarrant County reported a record high in cases. The county, which includes Fort Worth, reported 1,525 new cases on Monday, surpassing its previous record of 1,062 on Saturday.
  • Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer says early data shows a 90% effectiveness for its COVID-19 vaccine. This could put the vaccine on track for emergency-use FDA approval later this month. The early announcement is somewhat unusual, as only 94 results in a study of about 44,000 have been examined by an independent data monitoring board. WFAA reports that some North Texans are among those thousands of people involved in the trials. Pfizer’s vaccine targets the spike protein coronavirus uses to infect cells and is administered in two doses. The company estimates that 50,000,000 doses could be available by 2022. 
  • President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris announced its plans for a new 13-member coronavirus task force on Monday. The task force includes Obama-era surgeon general Vivek Murthy, who was relieved by Trump in 2017 as part of his “draining the swamp” initiative, and former FDA commissioner David Kessler. Task force responsibilities will include increasing testing sites as well as the production of and masks and other PPE. They also intend to establish a job corp for 100,000 people to mobilize in contact tracing. 
  • Dallas County Judge Jenkins vowed to work with the new administration and CDC to keep Dallas citizens safe. NBC DFW reports the Biden campaign has already reached out to the Dallas judge for preliminary coronavirus briefings, an extension never offered by the present administration.

That does it for today’s briefings. Check back Friday for more updates. As always, please mask up and maintain social distancing to help cap off this lousy viral spread.

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