Texas Is Leading The Nation In Cases, Surpassing California, A New Documentary From A Dallas Filmmaker Aims To Help Reduce Latino Transmission Risk & More.
Last week, we briefed you on mask-wearing concerns at the polls. This week, the news is again dominated by the polarizing election on the horizon. We get it, the pandemic is pushing all of us into unfamiliar territory, but for the sake of 18,000 dead in Texas (and near million infected) please put on a damn mask.
Here are the latest COVID-19 updates in North Texas:
- On Monday, Dallas County reported an additional 498 additional cases and 2 new deaths. Of the new cases, 107 are probable. This brings the total case count to 93,939 and the death toll to 1,101.
NEW: Dallas County Reports 498 New Positive 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cases and 2 Deaths
Including 107 Probable Cases pic.twitter.com/wwkamM2I9K
— Clay Jenkins (@JudgeClayJ) October 26, 2020
- On Monday, 4,110 of 5,881 hospital beds were occupied, bringing total occupancy to 70%. Of 911 total ICU beds, 795 were filled while 368 of Dallas’ 992 ventilators were in use.
Here are the bed and ventilator capacity statistics as reported by 25 hospitals in the @CityOfDallas:
Total beds: 5881
Beds occupied: 4110 (70%)
Total ICU beds: 911
ICU beds occupied: 705 (77%)
Total ventilators: 992
Ventilators in use: 368 (37%)
— Mayor Eric Johnson (@Johnson4Dallas) October 26, 2020
- Texas is nearly tied with California for the most statewide cases. As of publish of these briefs, Texas’ tally is 916,938 while California resides at 913,806. T0 put that into perspective, if Texas were its own country, it would rank ninth in the world for most cases, ahead of countries like Mexico and the U.K. You can track every state’s case and death counts with this interactive map from NBC News.
- The wife of Mckinney Mayor George Fuller has tested positive for coronavirus. She is experiencing mild symptoms, and while Mayor Fuller has so far tested negative, he has decided to self-quarantine until further notice, reminding everyone of the importance of social distancing and wearing a mask.
- Colleyville Mayor Richard Newton has a comparatively differing message stressing the importance of social interaction for mental health. According to the Dallas Morning News, Colleyville’s unconventional method for counting “recovered cases” has come under scrutiny by marking a tally 14 days after positive results. Newton has responded to criticisms over this by stating that “the majority of cases recover in 14 days.” However, as Harvard Medical has observed, many people who become infected with COVID-19 see long-term effects and health issues, meaning not everyone who has had it for 14 days sees automatic recovery.
- A Dallas filmmaker has released a Spanish-language documentary made in collaboration with Los Barrios Unidos Community Clinic aimed at providing a medical resource to the Latino community. Lindell Singleton’s ¿A Quien Quieres? aims to benefit the Latino community, as it has been hit hardest in the wake of the pandemic. More than half of all coronavirus deaths in Texas have been among the Latino population, and Latinos account for 39.6% of statewide cases, according to DSHS. Singleton’s film highlights the importance of social distancing and mask wearing procedures among other important related topics.
- Texas is set to spend $30 million on a new supplementary special education services program to assist special needs students impacted by the pandemic. The program offers a one-time spending account of up to $1,500 for those that qualify for aid with tutoring, therapy and other related services. Though there are nearly 59,000 students who fit the criteria in Texas, only 20,000 accounts will be created. Abbott called the move “a win for Texas families,” but a spokesperson for the Texas State Teachers Association has called the plan little more than a start.
- Texas’ 24th Congressional District has become a hot seat for politicized discrepancies regarding safety protocols. Two fresh faces are duking it out for a vacancy left by Republican Kenny Marchant, who announced he would not seek re-election after a 40 years. Republican and noted Islamaphobe Beth Van Duyne and Democrat Candace Valenzuela (D) are now facing off for the seat, and mask-wearing and risk management policies have become a major polarized issue for the two in what DMN called a multimillion dollar race. In 2018, Marchant won the district by a 3% margin over his democrat competitor.
- A study released earlier this month by United Airlines and the Department of Defense says long-duration flights have minimal risk of coronavirus exposure. Airlines will be anxious for business this holiday season. Industry leaders have provided pre-flight screenings, and upgraded filtration systems and cleaning procedures – but some still say the minimized risk may be exaggerated. Health experts still maintain that traveling home for the holidays risky, especially as cases are expected to surge for the winter months.
That wraps it up for this bi-weekly update. Check back in on Friday for the latest in pandemic-related news in Dallas. And as always, stay masked up and socially distant when possible.