Jenkins: Increasing COVID-19-Related Hospitalizations Tip Of The Iceberg

As officials continue to monitor data regarding the state of the COVID-19 pandemic at the state and local level, we have the information you need to know today:

  • Jenkins: Increasing COVID-19-Related Hospitalizations Tip Of The Iceberg
  • Dallas County Opens Emergency Small Business Assistance Program
  • Portion of Katy Trail Closed From Fitzhugh Avenue to Cambrick Street
  • Gov. Abbott’s Office, Dallas Cowboys Linebacker Jaylon Smith Release New COVID-19 PSA: “Wear A Mask On And Off The Field”

Jenkins: Increasing COVID-19-Related Hospitalizations Tip Of The Iceberg

Dallas County Health and Human Services Monday reported 305 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total case count in Dallas County to 14,537, as well as one additional death.

The latest death is a 60-something-year-old Dallas man. He’d been critically ill at an area hospital and had no 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.

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.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson shared Monday that 25 hospitals reported bed and ventilator capacity. Of 6,065 total beds, 3,956 (65%) were occupied, of 927 total ICU beds, 602 (65%) were occupied, and of 971 total ventilators, 305 (31%) were in use.

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 285 total deaths reported to date, over a third have been associated with long-term care facilities.

“(Monday’s) numbers fall in line for what we’ve seen for the last week or so. We don’t have back the hospitalization numbers for the weekend at the time of this release but would expect those back later in the afternoon. We have seen an increase in hospitalization cases in Dallas County, the 19 counties of North Texas, and the State of Texas. Think of hospitalizations as that part of the iceberg that you can see that is above the water. Below the water are all the people who are sick but that are not yet in the hospital. The iceberg below the water is obviously far greater than the iceberg above it and a small increase in hospitalizations indicates a larger increase in illness. That’s why that number is so important. Please avoid crowds, maintain six foot distancing when out, wear a cloth face covering, and use strong hygiene,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

Gov. Greg Abbott and Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs of the University of Texas (UT) System John Zerwas are set to speak about hospital capacity in the state at 1 p.m. today. Abbott and Zerwas will be joined by Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt and Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd.

Dallas County Opens Emergency Small Business Assistance Program

Dallas County Monday began accepting pre-applications for its Emergency Business Assistance Program (EBAP).

EBAP is funded with an allocation of $5 million in federal CARES Act dollars and is designed to rapidly provide financial assistance to small businesses in Dallas County that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses may be eligible to obtain a forgivable loan worth up to $15,000.

Businesses must meet eligibility requirements, including being located in Dallas County (except the City of Dallas) and demonstrate a decrease in revenue of at least 25% because of COVID-19. Pre-applications will be accepted between June 15 and June 28.

Dallas County selected the National Development Council (NDC), a national economic development non-profit, to serve as the third-party administrator for the EBAP.

Data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey during the week of May 24 to May 30 revealed that small businesses are continuing to struggle to maintain adequate cash to pay their bills, even after having received financial assistance from programs such as the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

Nearly 30% of small businesses in the DFW region reported that they have less than three to four weeks of cash on hand. Additionally, more than 20% of local small businesses reported that, as of late May, they still had not received any federal financial assistance.

Small businesses that are interested in applying for financial assistance through EBAP should visit the NDC EBAP website. Businesses that need assistance navigating the website may leave a voicemail message at 214-845-7673 to receive a return phone call within one business day.

After the pre-application period closes, NDC will use a randomized selection process to select the eligible businesses that will be invited to submit a full application.

Portion of Katy Trail Closed From Fitzhugh Avenue to Cambrick Street

The portion of the trail from Fitzhugh Avenue to Cambrick Street is expected to reopen in about eight weeks when construction of a soft surface trail is finished.

Trail users are asked to use the following detours:

From the north, going southbound:

  • Exit at Knox; go east to Travis.
  • Walk south on Travis to Fitzhugh.
  • Cross at the light/crosswalk and proceed down Travis.
  • Take a right on Cambrick to re-enter the trail. Note: only go southbound on the trail at Cambrick.

From the south, going northbound:

  • Exit at Cambrick.
  • Go to Travis; take left.
  • Take Travis to Knox; take a left to enter trail at Knox.
Gov. Abbott’s Office, Dallas Cowboys Linebacker Jaylon Smith Release New COVID-19 PSA: “Wear A Mask On And Off The Field”

Lastly, we end today’s digest with a fun, educational reminder to continue to follow public health guidelines. Gov. Abbott’s office and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith Monday released a new public service announcement (PSA) entitled, “Wear A Mask On And Off The Field.”

In the PSA, Smith urges Texans to wear a mask and follow other health and safety guidelines like washing hands and practicing social distancing.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

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