Dallas County Jails Account For Just One COVID-19 Death, Communities Look For Trick-or-Treating Alternatives, Experts Form Vaccine Allocation Panel & More.

Unemployment numbers haven’t budged much since last week’s report.

On the other hand, early voting numbers are definitely up since the last election — despite social distancing concerns.

But what else is going on as far as the still-ongoing pandemic is concerned? Well, one Dallas County inmate has been added to the death toll, Judge Clay Jenkins has said that not trick-or-treating this year is critical to taming the virus and college enrollment, on the whole, is down.

Here are the details you need to know:

  • On Monday, Dallas County reported an additional 592 cases and 3 deaths. This brings the total case count to 89,987, and the county death toll to 1,085.

  • On Monday, 4,368 of 5,849 available hospital beds were occupied, bringing total occupancy to 75 percent. 686 of 921 ICU beds were filled, and 346 of Dallas’ 986 ventilators were in use.

  • Texas Health Commissioner John Hellerstedt announced the formation of an Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel to administer a vaccine plan — once a vaccine is made available. Early talks have prioritized “essential workers,” but the plan itself, which was released Monday, bases prioritization on a combination of risk factors including job function and potential exposure. It’s of course worth nothing that no vaccine is currently available, although there are three in late-stage trials currently in the works in the United States. Big Pharma giant Pfizer, for instance, expects initial trial results by the end of this month. For more information on this progress and a broader list of those likely to receive the first doses of a would-be vaccine, check out this breakdown in Dallas Morning News.
  • Details were released regarding the first custodial coronavirus death in a Dallas County Jail. The deceased was 63-year-old pre-trial inmate Lee Greer, who had underlying conditions. His death occurred in June, and is so far the only COVID-related death reported from an inmate in a Dallas County jail. Across Texas, 161 inmates and 21 prison employees have died as a result of the virus. As of last Tuesday, 732 Dallas County inmates have tested positive for COVID.
  • Judge Clay Jenkins has urged families to cancel trick-or-treating plans this year, and many well-established trick-or-treating neighborhoods have shut down plans for usual festivities. Homeowners along the Swiss Avenue District have elected to cancel all trick-or-treating this year. The same is true for other prominent house-to-house hotspots around the Metroplex. The cancellation on Swiss Avenue alone is expected to displace around 5,000 candy-seeking trick-or-treaters. Check with local communities for drive-through alternatives before heading out for the night with your kiddos.
  • Freshman enrollment in the nation’s colleges is down 16 percent since last year. Is anyone surprised by this? Seriously: Who wants to pay full tuition when they won’t even have access to the school’s wi-fi?
  • The moratorium on electricity service shut-offs ended earlier this month. The moratorium provided by the COVID-19 Electric Relief Program assisted an estimated 600,000 low-income families. Now, their lights are off.

Thus concludes ends our bi-weekly coronavirus report. Stay safe and socially distant out there — and maybe look into some spookier masks if you’re still in the spirit to celebrate Halloween this year?

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