The First COVID-19 Vaccinations Have Been Administered To Hospital Staff And Nurses, The State Of Texas Hits A Grim Milestone And Much More.
Earlier this week, we finally heard some much-needed good news: The very first doses of Pfizer vaccines hit North Texas, and the first batch of doses went straight to healthcare workers.
It’s anticipated that more than 5,000 hospital staff will receive a vaccine soon, bringing a sense of hope to those facing the inherent dangers of the virus head-on.
The first administration of the vaccine in North Texas was given to Teresa Mata, a 51-year-old environmental services worker who cleans rooms located in the emergency room wing at Methodist Dallas Medical Center. While other doses were delivered to four other hospitals across North Texas, Methodist was the first to actually administer the vaccine.
On Tuesday, the team at Parkland entered the vaccine fray as nurse Perla Sanchez-Perez, who has worked the COVID-unit since the start of the pandemic in March, was the first staffer there to be injected.
— Austin York (@realAustinYork) December 15, 2020
Now, doctors are warning folks now that getting the vaccine won’t mean immediately being able to refrain from wearing masks.
And thy may have a point: On Thursday, the State of Texas has reported a record-high case count of 16,864 new COVID-19 cases, and 9,628 related hospitalizations statewide.
Below, let’s look at how things are playing out on an even more-local scale.
- On Thursday, Dallas county reported 976 confirmed cases and 10 deaths. This brings the cumulative case count to 150,509 and the total death toll to 1,413. Additionally, the county reported 406 probable cases.
NEW: Dallas County Reports 1,382 New Positive 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cases and 10 Deaths
Including 406 Probable Cases pic.twitter.com/vyHICihNii
— Clay Jenkins (@JudgeClayJ) December 17, 2020
- Reports on Thursday from 25 Dallas-area hospitals showed that 4,553 out of 5,908 were occupied. Additionally, 760 of 933 ICU beds were occupied, and 452 of 1,034 ventilators were in use.
Here are the bed and ventilator capacity statistics as reported by 25 hospitals in the @CityOfDallas:
Total beds: 5908
Beds occupied: 4553 (77%)
Total ICU beds: 932
ICU beds occupied: 760 (82%)
Total ventilators: 1034
Ventilators in use: 452 (44%)
— Mayor Eric Johnson (@Johnson4Dallas) December 17, 2020
- A married couple in North Texas diagnosed with coronavirus passed away together while holding hands. Both were educators within Grand Prarie ISD. The husband, Paul Blackwell, was a physical education instructor and football coach over at Fannin Middle School. His wife, Rose Blackwell, was a teacher at William B. Travis World Language Academy. The couple had been hospitalized together at the Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth.
- On Thursday, Denton County surpassed 10,000 active coronavirus cases. This marks a new record for Denton County. Also on Thursday, eight additional county residents passed away due to coronavirus-related symptoms, bringing the Denton County death toll to a cumulative 180.
- Kroger grocery stores across North Texas will soon offer COVID-19 vaccinations. Jeff Loesch, the Director of Pharmacy for Kroger Health Dallas, announced that all 100-plus stores in North Texas will participate in COVID-19 vaccine program. They’ll be joined by Albertsons, CVS, Walgreens and Costco, which also will have a number of stores enrolled in the program. Be patient, though: This program is still an estimated seven weeks away from taking effect.
We’ll be back with more information on local COVID-19 and vaccine-related news on Tuesday.
In the meantime, remember: While the road to recovery is illuminating slowly, the battle is far from over. Please hang in there, our fellow Texans! And please continue to adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Wear your masks, wash your hands and continue social distancing practices.
We got this.