DMN: Nearly 50,000 Sign Up On COVID-19 Vaccine Registry

Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Phil Huang told the Dallas Morning News Monday that nearly 50,000 signed up on a new website that allows Dallas County residents to register for COVID-19 vaccines.

The website was launched Saturday and is allowing county residents who qualify for phases 1A and 1B, or healthcare workers and limited availability for those 65 and older or those over 16 with certain underlying conditions, to sign up for the vaccine.

Huang also told the paper that the county is still working to vaccinate people in the Phase 1A group as of Monday and supplies remain low. 

In Dallas County, 28,665 people have been vaccinated with at least one dose as of Monday, according to a Texas Department of State Health Services dashboard.

The Texas Department of State Health Services also announced Monday that it instructed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ship first doses of COVID-19 vaccine to more than 949 providers in 158 Texas counties over the next week. The CDC will deliver 167,300 doses of the vaccine manufactured by Moderna and 37,050 doses of the Pfizer vaccine directly to Texas providers.

An additional 121,875 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will go to the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. Vaccinations under the program started in Texas last week and, according to the CDC, will serve staff and residents at 770 long-term-care facilities in the next week.

The CDC will also deliver 224,250 second doses to the providers who received vaccine the week of Dec. 14 to complete the series for the people that were vaccinated in the first week of vaccine distribution.

Texas has been allocated about 1.5 million first doses through the first four weeks of vaccine distribution, and vaccine will have reached providers in a total of 214 counties by the end of the week. DSHS has posted a vaccine provider location map that will be updated frequently. A list of providers that will be receiving vaccine this week is available at www.dshs.texas.gov/news/updates/COVIDVaccineAllocation-Week4.pdf.

As vaccines continue to be rolled out, Dallas County Monday reported 1,570 more COVID-19 cases–1,420 confirmed and 150 probable–and an additional 17 deaths.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the county’s reported a cumulative total of 179,594 confirmed cases and  21,987 probable cases, and a total of 1,678 deaths.

The additional deaths reported Monday include a Dallas woman in her 20s who died in a hospital emergency room, a Dallas woman in her 30s who died in a hospital emergency room, a Mesquite woman in her 40s who was found dead at home, two Garland men in their 40s, a Glenn Heights man in his 60s, two Garland men in their 70s, a Garland woman in her 70s who died in a hospital emergency room and didn’t have underlying conditions, a Dallas man in his 70s who died in a hospital emergency room, a Sachse man in his 70s, a Garland man in his 80s who died in hospice care and didn’t have underlying conditions, a Sunnyvale man in his 80s, a Garland man in his 80s, and a Sachse woman in her 90s who died in a hospital emergency room. 

Also among the additional deaths reported Monday were a man in his 80s who died at the Dallas long-term care facility where he lived and a man in his 80s who also lived at a Dallas long-term care facility. 

The provisional seven-day average of daily new confirmed and probable cases for the week ending Dec. 19 was 1,787, which is a rate of 67.8 daily new cases per 100,000 residents. The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 remains high, with 26.5% of symptomatic patients presenting to area hospitals testing positive in the week ending Dec. 19. 

Also, since the beginning of the pandemic, over 3,864 healthcare workers and first responders have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Dallas County. 

“January and February will likely be our highest months for hospitalizations and new cases. With the vaccinations in nursing homes and other high-risk populations occurring now and accelerating in the next few days, by March we will begin to see a decline in some of our most vulnerable populations finding themselves in hospital beds,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. “It is critical for the next 60 days that everyone continue to wear their mask and make good, smart decisions: avoid crowds, forgo get-togethers and wash their hands frequently. Just as it’s always the darkest before the dawn, these first two months will be difficult, but my hope is that by the end of February, things will begin to improve and continue to improve as more and more people are vaccinated.”

UT Southwestern Medical Center’s latest data shows hospitalizations in North Texas are at an all-time high and hospitalizations in Dallas County are projected to further increase by 10%  by Jan. 11. 

UTSW’s data showed as of Dec. 30 COVID-19 hospitalizations in Dallas County increased by 22% over the past two weeks.

Their model projects total COVID-19 hospitalizations in Dallas County could increase to between 860 and 1,350 concurrent hospitalized cases by Jan. 11, with roughly 2,300 new COVID-19 infections per day expected by Jan. 11. 

The county also reported there are 102 active long-term care facility outbreaks, the largest number of long-term care facilities with active outbreaks in Dallas County since the beginning of the pandemic.

A total of 2,954 residents and 1,687 healthcare workers in long-term facilities in Dallas have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Of these, 665 have been hospitalized and 352 have died. About 22% of all deaths reported to date have been associated with long-term care facilities.  

The county also reported 42 outbreaks of COVID-19 in congregate-living facilities, like homeless shelters, group homes, and halfway homes, in the past 30 days associated with 115 cases. One facility has reported 93 COVID-19 outbreak cases since October. 

During the past 30 days, there have been 5,971 COVID-19 cases in school-aged children and staff reported from 756 separate K-12 schools in Dallas County, including 569 staff members. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 21 school nurses have been diagnosed with COVID-19. 

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 rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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