As officials continue to monitor the state of the COVID-19 pandemic and protests continue in the Dallas area, we continue to provide the information you need to stay informed. Here are today’s bullet points:
- President Trump Visits Preston Hollow
- Dallas County Reports New Record Single-Day Increase In New COVID-19 Cases
- Protests Could Impact Traffic This Weekend
- Medical City Healthcare Offers Health Coverage Hotline
President Trump Visits Preston Hollow
President Donald Trump visited Dallas Thursday for his first in-person fundraiser since the COVID-19 pandemic caused much of the country to shelter in place.
Trump landed at Love Field at 2:30 p.m. Thursday and started his visit to Dallas with a roundtable discussion with faith leaders, law enforcement officials, and small business owners regarding race relations and policing at Gateway Church’s north Dallas campus. Notably not invited to the discussion were Dallas Police Chief U. Reneé Hall, Sheriff Marian Brown, and District Attorney John Creuzot, according to the Dallas Morning News. Mayor Eric Johnson reportedly declined an invitation from the White House.
“You always have a bad apple. No matter where you go you have bad apples, and there are not too many of them … in the police department,” Trump said, according to the newspaper. “What happens late at night when you make that call to 911 and there’s nobody there? What do you? What are you doing, whether you’re white or black or anybody else? … There is no opportunity without safety.”
Fred Frazier, first vice president of the Dallas Police Association, participated in the discussion and spoke about George Floyd, whose death in police custody in Minneapolis sparked protests in Dallas and across the country.
“We can’t take back what happened in Minnesota. Not one officer that saw that … said that was the right thing that happened. It was malice,” he said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “If I could trade places with Mr. Floyd, I would, because I would die for everyone in this room, because that’s our job. And if I could trade places with any one of those officers who were there, I would have done that, too, because I wouldn’t have let that happen.”
Trump then departed the discussion for a fundraiser at the Preston Hollow home of Energy Transfer CEO Kelcy Warren, whose company built the Dakota Access pipeline.
Groups of Trump’s supporters and detractors gathered in the neighborhood to wait for the motorcade. The Dallas County Democratic Party also organized a protest near the site of the fundraiser.
An estimated 24 donors attended the event for which admission was about $580,600 per couple, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Trump departed Love Field about 7 p.m.
Dallas County Reports New Record Single-Day Increase In New COVID-19 Cases
Dallas County Health and Human Services Thursday reported the new largest single-day increase in positive COVID-19 cases one day after Wednesday’s previous record single-day increase in cases. The county reported 312 new positive cases of COVID-19 Thursday, bringing the total case count in Dallas County to 13,257, as well as an additional three deaths.
The latest deaths include a 50-something-year-old Dallas woman, a 60-something-year-old Dallas man, and a 70-something-year-old Dallas man. They each had been hospitalized and had underlying, high-risk health conditions.
More than 80% of cases requiring hospitalization who reported employment have been critical infrastructure workers, with a broad range of affected occupational sectors, including healthcare, transportation, food and agriculture, public works, finance, communications, clergy, first responders, and other essential functions.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson shared Thursday that 25 hospitals reported bed and ventilator capacity statistics. Of 6,065 total beds, 4,257 (70%) were occupied, of 927 total ICU beds, 630 (68%) were occupied, and of 967 total ventilators, 330 (34%) were in use.
More than two-thirds of cases requiring hospitalization have been under 65 years of age, and about half do not have any high-risk chronic health conditions. Diabetes has been an underlying high-risk health condition reported in about a third of all hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
The age-adjusted rates of confirmed COVID-19 cases in non-hospitalized patients have been highest among Hispanic people (667.4 per 100,000), the Asian population (187.4 per 100,000) and Black people (136.4 per 100,000). These rates have been higher than White people (43.8 per 100,000). Over 60% of overall COVID-19 cases to date have been Hispanic. Of the 277 total deaths reported to date, more than a third have been associated with long- term care facilities.
The county has seen an increase in the number of patients in the daily hospital census for numbers reported on June 10, according to information reported to the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council. While the average census had been between 300 and 350 for a number of weeks, county officials say we are over 370 as reported. Additionally, the percentage of emergency room visits for COVID-19 like symptoms in Dallas County for a 24-hour period ending June 10 increased to 25%, representing over 567 visits.
“Today’s numbers are the highest number of new positive cases reported on record, breaking the record set yesterday. Remember, we are doing more testing and so that must be factored in. Of more concern is the increase we’ve seen over the last three days in hospital census for COVID-19 and sustained high ER visits for COVID-19 like symptoms. Currently, the North Texas 19 county area has the highest number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients on record at 724 and likewise, Dallas County has its highest number on record at 373. As we said several weeks ago, these are the numbers we’re looking at to most accurately predict a second surge and doctors are looking at these numbers closely. It’s more important than even that you avoid large crowds, maintain six foot distancing, wear a cloth face covering when on public transportation, around people in businesses or at other gatherings, and use good hygiene,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
Jenkins again encouraged protesters to take advantage of available COVID-19 testing.
“I will again remind protesters that confidential testing is available at any of our walk-up or drive-thru testing sites… testing is available every day at the drive-thrus at the American Airlines Center and Ellis Davis Field House or the walk-up sites at Red Bird Mall and Inspired Vision Compassion Center,” he said.
Protests Could Impact Traffic This Weekend
There are some planned events to be aware of if you’re expecting to be out and about this weekend.
Dallas Students For Change are planning a peaceful protest from 2-6 p.m. today in Lakeside Park, according to a town of Highland Park newsletter. Town officials say they anticipate the gathering to begin in Lakeside Park just south of Beverly Drive, proceed through Lakeside Park toward Armstrong Avenue, then return to the original gathering location. Department of Public Safety staff will be in the area to facilitate public safety throughout the event.
These are some other events planned around Dallas:
- A student-organized “rally for change” is planned from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. today at Griggs Park.
- A ‘We Are One’ rally is planned from 3-4 p.m. today at Dallas City Hall.
- A rally is planned from 4-8:30 p.m. today at the MLK Jr. Community Center.
- A protest and march is planned is for 6 p.m. today, Saturday, and Sunday at City Hall.
- An event is planned from 8-11 p.m. today at the JFK Memorial.
- An event is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday at Reverchon Park
- A potluck protest is planned for 3-6 p.m. Saturday at Reverchon Park.
- A protest is planned for 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Pike Park at 2807 Harry Hines Boulevard.
- A ‘Black Lives Matter bike/skate’ protest is set for 6 p.m. Saturday at Dallas City Hall.
- A ‘walk for change’ is set to begin at 10 a.m. Sunday at 2121 Winsted Drive (White Rock Lake).
Medical City Healthcare Offers Health Coverage Hotline
Lastly, we end today’s digest with a resource available for North Texans who may have lost health insurance coverage because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Medical City Healthcare is offering a free and confidential insurance hotline to provide guidance for those who lost health coverage.
Expert advisors who can provide options specific to individual situations staff the phone line. The resource is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday at 833-867-8771.
Insurance advisors can discuss eligibility and advocacy services, including continuing an employer’s existing plan (COBRA and other options), applying for coverage via a spouse’s benefit program, resources that may help offset the costs of health insurance, Medicaid or government healthcare for those that meet certain criteria, and state and federal health insurance exchanges (such as the Affordable Care Act) and how to enroll due to a changing life event.
To learn more about Medical City Healthcare’s consumer resources, including the health insurance hotline, safety measures, and other enhancements to ensure a healthier tomorrow, visit the COVID-19 Resource Hub.