As new COVID-19 cases are reported, here is what you need to know today:
- Dallas County Health and Human Services 435 additional positive cases of COVID-19 in Dallas County;
- Abbott announced two Dallas residents to the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors.;
- Medical City to host a drug take back event Saturday.
Dallas County Reports 434 New Positive Cases
Dallas County Health and Human Services reported Thursday a total of 84 additional probable cases (14 probable deaths reported recently) of COVID-19. Of the 351 confirmed cases, 291 came through the Texas Department of State Health Services’ electronic laboratory reporting system and only one was from an older month.
The additional three deaths reported Thursday include the following:
- A man in his 50’s who was a resident of the City of Garland. He had been critically ill in an area hospital.
- A woman in 70’s who was a resident of the City of Mesquite. She had been critically ill in an area hospital, and had underlying high risk health conditions.
- A man in his 90’s who was a resident of the City of Dallas. He had been hospitalized, and had underlying high risk health conditions
A provisional total of 406 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in school-aged children (5 to 17 years) during CDC week 41, which is over twice the numbers of children diagnosed in this age group 4 weeks earlier (CDC week ending Sept. 12).
Of all confirmed cases requiring hospitalization to date, more than two-thirds have been under 65 years of age. Diabetes has been an underlying high-risk health condition reported in about a third of all hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Of the total confirmed deaths reported to date, about 24% have been associated with long-term care facilities. New cases are being reported as a daily aggregate, with a more detailed summary report updated Tuesdays and Fridays.
The County said that the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations accounted through Wednesday was 440 patients. Emergency room visits for COVID-19 symptoms was at 531 which represented around 20% of all ER visits as of Wednesday, according to information reported to the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council.
““We continue to see an increase in the number of confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases as well as an increase in our hospitalizations,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said. “We are back to the mid-August numbers for hospitalizations and that increase is placing a strain on our local hospitals, especially on their staff who have been tirelessly responding to COVID since March. The projections are that these numbers will keep increasing which is why we must act now to stop the spread,.
“The actions you can take as an individual to reduce the spread are to stay home except for essential activities, wear a mask when around others, maintain six-foot distancing and wash your hands. We can do this North Texas but it’s up to all of us to take action now.”
Abbott Names Two Dallasites to Texas State Board Of Examiners Of Professional Counselors
Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Dallas residents Jodie Elder, Ph.D. and Garrett Nerren to the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors for terms set to expire on Feb. 1, 2025.
Additionally, the Governor named Steven Hallbauer chair of the board. The board has licensing, examination, and rulemaking responsibilities in the field of professional counseling.
Jodie Elder of Dallas is an Adjunct Professor of Counseling in the Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, as well as a speaker and presenter. She is a member of the Texas Counseling Association, Texas Association of Marriage and Family Counselors, American Counseling Association, Relational Therapists of Dallas, and the International Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Elder received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Texas State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision from Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Garrett Nerren of Dallas is a commercial real estate broker at Jones Lang LaSalle. He is a member of the National Association for Industrial and Office Parks, International Council of Shopping Centers, The Touchdown Club of Dallas, and Dallas Court Appointed Special Advocates, and a council member on The Cotton Bowl Council. Nerren received a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Texas A&M University and is a second year MBA Candidate at Southern Methodist University.
Medical City To Host Drug Take Back Event Saturday
Medical City Healthcare hospitals are hosting a drug take-back event to raise awareness about the dangers of opioid misuse and proper disposal of medications on Saturday, October 24, 2020. The “Crush the Crisis,” event aligns with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
Community members can safely and anonymously dispose of unused or expired medications at drive-through locations on October 24 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Medical City Dallas (Building A2 entrance), 7777 Forest Lane
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about two million people in the U.S. suffered from an opioid use disorder and more than 67,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2018. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the U.S. is seeing an increase in opioid usage, with 40 states reporting increases in opioid-related deaths, according to the American Medical Association.
“Stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic may be intensifying the opioid crisis by causing increased feelings of anxiety, grief, isolation, financial worry, and an ongoing sense of uncertainty, affecting those with substance use disorders as well as those at risk of developing one,” says Miguel Benet, MD, chief medical officer of Medical City Healthcare. “It is more important than ever to get unused pain medications out of homes and to educate the community about the serious threat of opioid misuse.”
Law enforcement officers from the Dallas Police Departments will be available to collect any unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications. Needles, syringes, lancets, inhalers or liquids will not be accepted. COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place including universal masking and social distancing at the drive-through collection locations.
Medical City Healthcare is participating as part of HCA Healthcare’s second annual national “Crush the Crisis” drug take back day. In 2019, 100 HCA Healthcare facilities in 16 states collected 5,887 pounds of unused and expired medications at nationwide “Crush the Crisis” events. Additionally, Medical City Healthcare hospitals have collected 2,375 pounds of medications over the past year at permanent drug take back boxes located at 12 Medical City Healthcare hospitals. These permanent boxes, which are compliant with DEA regulations, can be accessed, free of charge, any day of the year – not just on a specific drug take back day.
To further help combat the nation’s opioid crisis, HCA Healthcare, the parent company of Medical City Healthcare, proudly partners with and provides clinical insight to the National Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. HCA Healthcare has committed $500,000 to the Collaborative to support the development of safer pain management protocols and reversal of the opioid crisis. As a learning health system, HCA Healthcare uses data from approximately 35 million annual patient encounters to help continuously improve care. The organization uses the science of “big data” to reduce opioid misuse and transform pain management, with initiatives in surgical, emergency and other care settings.
To learn more about Medical City Healthcare’s Drug Take Back Day on October 24 or to find the location of a permanent drug take back box that is part of Medical City Healthcare’s ongoing efforts to “Crush the Crisis,” visit: https://medicalcityhealthcare.com/DrugTakeBack.