COVID-19 live updates: 33 Dallas-Fort Worth hospitals to receive cases of antiviral drug remdesivir

The drug was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration after showing success in two clinical trials. It’s used to help patients recover more quickly.

Thirty-three hospitals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area will receive 81 cases of the antiviral drug remdesivir to treat COVID-19, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday.

The drug was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration after showing success in two clinical trials. It’s used to help patients recover more quickly.

Distribution of the cases is based on the number of patients in the hospital and in intensive care in each hospital region. Within those regions, allocations are based on the number of ICU beds by hospital, Abbott said in a statement.

Cases to be distributed are as follows:
Collin: 9
Dallas: 39
Denton: 5
Tarrant: 28

The cases of the drug were provided to the Texas Department of State Health Services through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Last week, the DSHS sent an initial 30 cases of the drug to 15 hospitals throughout the state, Abbott said.

“Not only will this drug treat patients throughout the state, but it will especially bolster our mitigation and treatment efforts in communities experiencing surges in COVID-19 cases,” Abbott said in a statementt.

RELATED: VERIFY: What is remdesivir?

Top updates for Wednesday, May 20:

A study from Europe suggests an alternating cycle of 50 days of strict lockdown followed by 30 days of relaxing of restrictions may be an effective strategy for keeping COVID-19 deaths down and keep damage to economies at a minimum.  Doctors at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth announced four cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C, Tuesday. A federal judge opened a path for a massive expansion in absentee voting in Texas by ordering Tuesday that all state voters, regardless of age, qualify for mail-in ballots during the coronavirus pandemic.

For a daily roundup of the biggest coronavirus news from around North Texas, sign up for the WFAA COVID-19 email newsletter. 

DART to receive $229M in CARES Act funds 

Dallas Area Rapid Transit will receive $229 million from The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

President Donald Trump tweeted the news Wednesday morning.

DART has continued to operate throughout the pandemic to help residents have access to essential jobs and medical facilities.

Rockwall County reports six new cases

Six more residents of Rockwall County have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, health officials report.

Four cases are in Rockwall, one case is in Heath and one case is at the Broadmoor.

Rockwall County health officials confirm that one patient is younger than 20 years old. The other patients’ ages range from their 30s to 50s, officials say.

RELATED: MAP: These are the confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Dallas-Fort Worth area

Dallas reports hospital capacity

Dallas health officials released an aggregate total for hospital beds from 25 hospitals.

Total beds: 5,713Beds occupied: 3,735Total ICU beds: 828ICU beds occupied: 588Total ventilators: 945Ventilators in use: 318

Health experts recommend taking the following actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19: 

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.Practice “social distancing” and stay at least 6 feet away from others and avoid large public gatheringsAvoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Stay home when you are sick.Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.Consult CDC’s travel website for any travel advisories and steps to protect yourself if you plan to travel outside of the U.S.

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