Senate Rejects Ted Cruz’s Call To Ban School Vaccine Mandates, Fort Worth Scales Back Testing Sites, Dallas County Experienced Mild Flu Season.

Part of the new normal is constantly being on your toes when it comes to attending events — there’s always the possibility of cancellation or postponing. We see it with many concerts on a local level, but big-name national touring acts aren’t immune to COVID-19, either, like Elton John who had to cancel all of his North Texas shows.

Last week, Willie Nelson added himself onto the list of musicians who had to skip out on North Texas when cancelled his March 19 show at Billy Bob’s due to COVID concerns. Nelson has cancelled several other performances at indoor venues as well. Per his publicist, “the safety of the audience and Willie and his touring personnel are of the utmost importance.” Nelson’s team is planning to make up the shows when possible, but no new dates are confirmed yet.

Nelson has been an advocate for vaccines, waiting until they were available to everyone before returning to the stage and then requiring masks or negative tests for entry.

Listen to Willie — cases have been on a steady decline and naturally, we’d like to see that continue. Last week, the seven day average for cases was 697 in Dallas county. However, the seven day average for deaths was 19, the highest it’s been for the month of February.

Here are your other briefs for the week, there’s not much.

  • Senate rejects Ted Cruz’s call to ban vaccine mandates in schools. Last Thursday, Cruz and other Republicans threatened a government shutdown (yeah a shutdown during a pandemic would be great) if they weren’t allowed to vote on blocking local schools from requiring vaccines. Senate opened the vote on the floor, but then immediately shot down the proposal. Cruz proposed to cut off federal funds for school districts, but it failed on a vote of 44 in favor and 49 against.
  • Due to low demand, Fort Worth is scaling back the number of testing and vaccination sites. Expect some Fort Worth locations to be closed this week. NBC listed the sites that are closed as of today — Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex, Heritage Church of Christ, Como Community Center and Scarborough-Handley Field.
  • Dallas experienced a very mild flu season, as reported by Dallas Morning News. While the omicron variant has spread rapidly, the county has not seen many cases of the flu. Only 2.6% of about 47,000 influenza tests since Oct. 3, 2021, have come back positive — that’s a little over 800.
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