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The State Fair Of Texas Takes Its Foot Off The Gas At Its New Drive-Thru Series, The CDC Recommends Flu Shots By The End Of October And More. 

Last week’s loosened restrictions to 75% restaurant capacity saw Dallas’ ever-growing number of eateries facing a potential influx of tipsy patrons to keep masked up and socially distant.

Now, with flu season just around the corner, the CDC has reiterated that wearing a mask is more important than ever to keep contagions at bay and further limit hospitalizations lest our care facilities be overrun.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s the latest in pandemic news around North Texas:

  • On Monday, Dallas County reported an additional 300 positive cases and one new death. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 81,372, and the total number of deaths to 1,021.

  • 4,058 of the 5,846 hospital beds in Dallas are occupied, bringing the total occupancy to 69%. This includes 614 of 916 ICU beds, and 333 of 997 ventilators currently in use.

  • The CDC is urging everyone 6 months and older to get their flu shot before the end of October to help prevent any additional strain on Doctors’ abilities to curve the pandemic. For information on where to get a shot, check out this handy vaccine-finder provided by Texas’ DSHS
  • With open-enrollment for health coverage beginning next month, many employers plan to prioritize virtual care solutions. A subsequent priority of expanding mental health services came in second in “The 2021 Large Employers’ Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey” from The Business Group on Health. Due to the pandemic’s shaking up of everyday life, it is expected alter the way employers handle health care coverage in the years to come.
  • Garland ISD just launched a weekly “Ask a Doctor” webinar to help returning students and parents engage in productive pandemic-related dialogue. According to the Dallas Morning News the district saw 144 of the novel virus cases in students and another 49 in faculty members between August 3 and September 25. The aim of the “Ask A Doctor” series is to “help children cope with change.” Participation in these webinars is kept anonymous.
  • Beginning October 19, DART will discontinue low ridership routes, while returning 65 higher ridership routes to pre-pandemic service levels. 48 routes will remain on their modified schedules. View a full list of those service changes here.
  • Dallas Public Library remains closed but has added 10 new Library To-Go locations. Beginning October 1 all locations except Oak Lawn (which will remain closed until further notice) will be a part of this curb-side service. Here’s more information on how to set up an appointment.
  • The State Fair of Texas still sucks. The fair’s COVID-adaptive drive-thru model left some of its ticket holders frustrated in its opening weekend. Some attendees reported waiting more than three hours, while others ran out of gas waiting for what was billed as a 90-minute experience. Who could have guessed? Oh wait — us!

That does it for our biweekly COVID-19 news roundup. Mask up, stay socially distanced and don’t be a jerk. Oh, and don’t forget: The deadline to register to vote is next Monday, October 5.

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