COVID-19 updates: Dallas County officials report 97 long-term care facility outbreaks, the highest since the pandemic began

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Over the past 30 days, there have been 927 COVID-19 cases reported from these facilities, including 29 deaths.

Dallas County health officials reported two more people died from COVID-19 Saturday, bringing the total to 1,232 confirmed deaths since tracking began in March.

The deaths include two Dallas County men in their 70s, who both had underlying high-risk health conditions, officials said.

County officials also reported 1,675 new COVID-19 cases, 264 of which came from antigen tests and are considered probable. This brings the countywide total to 132, 890 cases of COVID-19.

Since Nov. 1, there have been 5,320 COVID-19 cases in school-aged children across 770 separate K-12 school in Dallas County. At least 13 schools have temporarily closed their campuses for in-person learning, officials said.

Officials said there are also 97 active long-term care facility outbreaks – the highest since the beginning of the pandemic. Over the past 30 days, there have been 927 COVID-19 cases reported from these facilities, including 29 deaths.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says, “By next week we’ll have a feel for what the after effects of Thanksgiving will be, and with the colder weather, we know that COVID cases are likely to uptick as more and more people are forced into tight spaces indoors.”

Jenkin continues to urge residents to wear masks, social distance and avoid large crowds to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the county.

NEW: Dallas County Reports 1,675 New Positive 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cases and 2 Deaths
Including 264 Probable Cases pic.twitter.com/QFAaMJe8Vo

— Clay Jenkins (@JudgeClayJ) December 5, 2020


‘These are crisis times,’ Carter BloodCare says of community supply

Carter BloodCare is warning Texans that the community blood supply is in crisis due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Our community’s preparation for meeting any urgent transfusion needs is in severe jeopardy,” the organization said. 

Carter BloodCare is asking anyone who is willing to donate blood to make an appointment by calling or texting 800-366-2834 or visit carterbloodcare.org.

The organization said the pandemic has had several impacts on its blood supply that include the cancelation of blood drives, closure of schools, and another surge in cases. 

“Many hospital patients need blood so they can heal,” officials said. 

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Tarrant County reports 1,302 cases 

Tarrant County Public Health reported 1,302 COVID-19 cases Saturday. This comes just one day after the county reported 1,503 — its highest case total since the pandemic began.

Officials also reported that one more resident died, bringing the countywide total to 872 confirmed deaths since tracking began in March.

There are currently 851 hospitalized with COVID-19 in Tarrant County, the 12th straight day with more than 800 hospitalizations.

The COVID-19 capacity percentage has remained above 15% for 14 consecutive days, according to Tarrant County health officials.

RELATED: Map by medical research team suggests where COVID-19 vaccine might be delivered first in Tarrant County


Judges receive letter from state health officials on reduced capacity orders

Judges Clay Jenkins and Glen Whitley received an official letter from state officials Saturday regarding reduced capacity orders for select businesses.

Earlier this week, restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, libraries, and other businesses were ordered to scale back to 50% capacity. 

The order went into effect after the region reported its seventh straight day with COVID-19 patients making up at least 15% of the hospitals’ total capacity.

Elective surgeries were also required to stop and bars must close.

The letter includes rollbacks issued for Collin, Cooke, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Erath, Fannin, Grayson, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Palo Pinto, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell, Tarrant, and Wise Counties.

This is the official rollback letter on reduced capacity that @judge_whitley got from state health officials this morning.
Explains where capacity goes to 50% and states bars close and elective surgeries must stop
(@wfaa) pic.twitter.com/qnCcc4GUnp

— William Joy (@WilliamJoy) December 5, 2020


Denton County adds 389 cases

Denton County Public Health announced 389 COVID-19 cases Saturday, increasing the countywide total to 26,034 confirmed cases, including 158 deaths since tracking began in mid-March.

On Friday, DCPH Director Dr. Matt Richardson said the county was monitoring its shortage of ICU beds, saying there were only six available.

“Masks and distancing are the only way to help a stressed and critical situation developing in our hospitals. We’re asking everyone to be a part of the solution – comply with the recommendations to help others,” said Richardson.

DCPH will host a free drive-thru COVID-19 testing center on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at University of North Texas’ Discovery Park at 3940 N. Elm Street in Denton. Eligible community members must reside in Denton County, pre-register by calling 940-349-2585, and have not previously tested positive for COVID-19. Pre-registration is required, and appointments are available starting at 8 a.m.


Texas brings nursing home residents to front of vaccine line

Texas health officials are moving nursing home residents to the front of the line for coronavirus vaccines. 

The change Friday comes after state health officials initially decided that only health care workers would have access to the first round of doses that are expected to arrive this month. 

The reversal comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week issued non-binding guidance that called for putting nursing home residents first along with the frontline medical staff. 

Texas reported more than 13,000 confirmed cases Friday and 255 additional deaths.


The Associated Press contributed to this report. 




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