News regarding the federal, state, and local response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change rapidly. Here are some bullet points for today:
- City of Dallas Reports Hospital Capacity For April 18
- The Salvation Army of North Texas Requiring Shelter Residents to Wear Masks
- SMU Announces Credit Adjustments For Housing, Dining, And Parking
- Highland Park Seniors Celebrated With Signs
City of Dallas Reports Hospital Capacity For April 18
Twenty-four hospitals on Saturday reported ventilator and bed capacity numbers to Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson’s office.
One hospital that reported Friday did not report on Saturday. Here are the aggregate capacity totals for Saturday, as reported by the 24 hospitals:
- Total beds: 5,397
- Beds occupied: 2,858
- Total ICU beds: 783
- ICU beds occupied: 480
- Total ventilators: 898
- Ventilators in use: 292
The Salvation Army of North Texas Requiring Shelter Residents to Wear Masks
Residents at Salvation Army shelters in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, and Tarrant Counties will be required to wear masks in common areas, like group rooms, hallways, and computer labs, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in response to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins’ order.
In the five-county service area, The Salvation Army of North Texas is currently sheltering 1,200 individuals per night and providing food to 10,000 people per week.
“As the region’s largest provider of social services, it’s our responsibility to mitigate the spread of a virus among those who are at heightened risk,” said Blake Fetterman, executive director of the Carr P. Collins Social Service Center. “Homeless shelters are facing complex challenges during this pandemic but we’re committed to doing all we can to help those we serve. I applaud our staff and clients in adhering to recommendations.”
The Carr P. Collins Social Service Center next door to Parkland Memorial Hospital is the largest shelter in North Texas and is housing about 450 residents. To date, no resident at the shelter has tested positive for COVID-19.
In addition to the requirement for residents to wear masks in common areas, The Salvation Army of North Texas also:
- Screens clients who enter facilities and monitors for symptoms
- Checks temperatures of clients who are allowed to leave to perform essential work
- Requires staff to self-monitor, regularly check temperature when reporting to work
- Mandates a minimum of 3 to 6 feet between each bed and asks clients to sleep head to toe
- Limits group sizes to allow for social distancing
“Our request for service continues to increase and we have no plans to turn anyone away.
One out of 10 North Texans in need that deal with poverty, homeless and addiction depend on The Salvation Army,” said Beckie Wach, executive director of Mabee Social Service Center. “With the generous support of the public and our continued partnership with governmental entities, we remain steadfast in our mission of helping all North Texans in need – wherever and for however long it takes.”
Drive-through grocery service at 13 locations throughout the region continues and an emotional and spiritual care hotline is still running seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST at 844-858-HOPE (4673).
SMU Announces Credit Adjustments For Housing, Dining And Parking
SMU will offer credit adjustments for housing, dining, and parking expenses in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The university bursar said in a letter to students that the adjustments will vary by student, as charges are dependent upon individual room and board plans, financial aid packages, dining options, and other variables.
The credit applied to these expenses will take into consideration costs that the university incurs regardless of occupancy, such as year-round staff, utilities, building operations, and maintenance, according to the letter. As a result, the credit will range from about 36% to 37.5% of the total semester’s charges for housing, meal plans, and student parking, the letter states.
University officials say parking expenses will be calculated at the same rate regardless of whether a vehicle remained on campus beyond March 23 when all spring classes shifted online. Students are also required to arrange to move their vehicles from campus before May 18.
As for dining, the unused balance of any additional flex funds purchased during the spring semester will be included in the credit adjustments, officials say.
All credit adjustments will be applied first to outstanding balances on student accounts, including registration for May, summer or fall terms if already registered, according to the university.
For graduating seniors with no outstanding balances on student accounts, any credit balance will be automatically refunded.
As academic instruction is continuing, instructional costs such as tuition, lab or technology fees will not be credited to the student account.
Highland Park Seniors Celebrated With Signs
As usual, we end today’s digest with a bit of news about how the community is coming together to support neighbors amid the pandemic. Moms and volunteers recently delivered signs as a show of support to the class of 2020.
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