Texas Becomes The First State In The U.S. With A Reported 1 Million COVID Cases, Dallas County Public Health Committee Releases Holiday Guidelines & More.

Thanksgiving and the holiday season are coming up and, as we mentioned earlier this week, Texas was the first state expected to reach a million cases. Well, on Wednesday, it took that none-to-be-proud-of title, becoming the first state in the nation to hit that threshold.

With the looming holidays ahead, things don’t seem promising anytime soon.

  • Dallas County reported 411 additional confirmed cases and 2 new deaths on Thursday. The county also reported 397 probable cases, bringing the total to 808. This brings the cumulative number of confirmed cases in Dallas County to 105,788 with a total death toll of 1,140.

  • On Thursday, 4,424 of 5,872 available hospital beds were occupied, bringing total occupancy to 75%. Out of 906 ICU beds, 689 were in use, bringing the occupancy to 76%. Additionally, 362 of Dallas’ 980 ventilators were in use.

  • According to John Hopkins University, Texas became the state with the most COVID-19 cases in the nation as of Wednesday. To put that number into perspective, if Texas was its own country, it would rank among the countries in the top 10 overall case counts in the world. It also now accounts for about 10% of U.S. cases.
  • On Tuesday, Dallas County had the least number of available ICU beds since the pandemic’s peak in July. As of Tuesday, Dallas County had only 52 available adult ICU beds, which doesn’t include beds that could be added by the hospital. Hospitals also each have their own plans to expand this by doubling up beds in rooms and converting surgical centers.
  • The Dallas County Public Health Committee just released its guidelines to stay safe during ThanksgivingPeople are encouraged to keep their Thanksgiving celebrations to no one other than those who live in the same household. Dr. Phillip Huang said that we need to be cautious with the weeks leading up to the holidays as well. Those who plan on celebrating with people outside their home should have begun self-quarantine beginning yesterday. Even during your meal, things should look different than past holiday gatherings — celebrations should be limited to two hours, take place outside and socially distanced if possible and hand sanitizer should be readily available. If you are eating together, it is also recommended to eat in silence to limit the spread of aerosols.
  • Dallas ISD just closed one of its elementary schools because of COVID concerns. Caillet Elementary, which is located in Northwest Dallas, is moving completely online after five students and staffers tested positive. These cases all took place in the span of a week. The school itself has 586 students and will be closed until November 17. According to the Dallas Morning News, this is not the first campus to close in recent weeks because of pandemic concerns. Last month, Hotchkiss Elementary was closed for three days in order to perform a deep clean of the campus.  
  • On Saturday, The North Texas Food Bank will hold its largest food distribution event at Fair Park since the pandemic began. This is the Food Bank’s fifth food distribution since March. The NTFB is planning on distributing half a million pounds of food to about 8,500 families. The food will be distributed to people in vehicles from 9 a.m. to noon or until supplies last. The distribution will take place through Gate 2 and the food will be picked up in Lots 15 and 16 where food boxes will be placed in the trunks.
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