Cases, Deaths Slowing as Vaccination Efforts Improve

Last Thursday, for the first time in months, Dallas County health officials reported a new COVID-19 case count that was below 200.

Granted, it didn’t happen in the days that followed, but it’s a milestone nonetheless.

Thursday’s case count showed 190 new cases and 20 deaths. Friday’s showed 348 new cases and 22 deaths, and there were 227 new cases and 12 deaths on Saturday.

Among those who died was a Dallas man in his 20s, a Richardson man in his 30s, a Grand Prairie man in his 40s, and a Dallas woman in her 40s. All had underlying high-risk conditions. Thirty-one Dallasites were among those who were reported dead.

“Our weekly average of COVID positive cases is 257, 40 cases lower than last week’s average,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Saturday. “We reported the loss of 85 people this week to COVID, bringing our total number of deaths from COVID to 3,384 on this the one-year anniversary of the first COVID death in Dallas County. The positivity rate of COVID remains high, with 6.9% of symptomatic patients presenting to area hospitals testing positive in CDC week 10.

“We’re hopeful that vaccinations will accelerate even more in the month of April and this will help with infections, hospitalizations, and deaths,” he added.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said that more than 900,000 first doses and more than 670,000 second doses of the vaccine were being shipped to providers this week.

The agency said it will allocate 685,470 first doses to 481 providers in 183 counties, and an additional 230,000 doses would go to pharmacy and federally-qualified health center locations.

“Texas has now administered more than 8.8 million doses, an increase of 1.2 million in the last week,” the TDSHS said. “Over 6 million people have received at least one dose and more than 3 million are fully vaccinated. Among Texas seniors, 59 percent have received at least one dose and one in three are now fully vaccinated. Nearly one in seven of all Texans at least 16 years old are now fully vaccinated.”

This week, people ages 50 to 64 became eligible for the vaccine. The department estimates that 12 million to 14 million Texans are currently eligible to get it.

Locally, Baylor received 5,850 Pfizer doses this week, the city of Dallas got 5,000 doses of Moderna, Parkland got 1,900 of Johnson & Johnson and 12,870 Pfizer, Dallas County got 11,000 Pfizer doses, and UT Southwestern got 12,870 Pfizer doses.

The Catholic Diocese of Dallas got 2,000 Moderna doses.

Other items of interest:

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, deputy editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at [email protected].

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