Also: Southwest Airlines Could Furlough Thousands, Schools Are In Dire Need Of Substitute Teachers And The Mavericks Will Play Their Preseason Without Fans.

Last week, North Texas counties faced concerning numbers in coronavirus cases, death and ICU availability counts.

Zooming out some this week, the United States hit a harrowing record high in a number of deaths recorded in a single day. On Wednesday, the country reported 3,124 deaths — a record number of American deaths in a singular day that surpass tragedies like 9/11 and U.S. battle deaths.

This shit is still very serious, y’all.

Here’s where things stand locally at the moment.

  • On Friday, Dallas County reported 1,353 new confirmed cases and 20 deaths. This brings the total case count to 141,303 since the pandemic started, while the cumulative county death toll is now 1,315 deaths. Additionally, the county reported 496 probable cases.

  • On Thursday, 25 Dallas area hospitals showed 4,633 of  5,915 beds were occupied. Additionally, 757 of 939 ICU beds were occupied, and 440 of 1,004 ventilators were reported as being in use.

  • Despite the death toll numbers, the United States remains hopeful for its vaccine rollouts. Recently, the FDA approved Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine following a hopeful 11-month long research period. It’s also expected that the Moderna vaccine will be next up for government approval here in the coming days.
  • Texas is projected to receive 1.4 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine by the end of the month. The state will offer priority to first responders and residents of long-term healthcare facilities.
  • Southwest Airlines has issued 1,322 furlough warnings in Texas workers. This decision to cut down on payroll amidst the pandemic could impact over 7,000 employees nationwide, although the bulk of these will come here in the airlines’ home base state. (Love Field and Houston Hobby are the airline’s two busiest airlines in the United States.)
  • The impacts of COVID-19 are also still greatly impacting educators. Substitute teachers are becoming scarce amidst the pandemic, leading to a shortage of available educators in North Texas. This has led to school districts across the Metroplex coming up with creative solutions, such as amending the requirements for substitute teachers. For example? In Wylie ISD, they’ve begun recruiting college student alumni to come and serve students.
  • The Paycheck Protection Program pumped $13.7 billion into the North Texas economy. The Dallas Morning News has an interesting look at who received these benefits, and how they put those finances to use.
  • The Dallas Mavericks won’t be letting fans into the American Airlines Center — well, not during the preseason, anyway. After weighing their options the last few weeks, the Mavericks announced no fans will be allowed to attend their one and only home preseason game this season. No final word yet on what this means for the start regular season or as it progresses, but team CEO Cynt Marshall released the following statement: “We are optimistic that we will be able to welcome fans back to AAC this season but want to make sure we do so in the safest way possible. Unfortunately, having looked closely at the current data, trends and historical spikes, we cannot risk our fans’ safety, which is in the best interest of our community.”

Check back next Tuesday for the next round of our twice-weekly updates on the coronavirus and its continued effects on North Texas.

Until then, please wash your hands, keep a mask on and stay the hell away from strangers.

It’s not that hard, we promise!

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