As officials continue to monitor the state of the COVID-19 pandemic and seek to determine whether a recent downward trend in metrics like new cases continues, here’s what you need to know today:
- Dallas County COVID-19 case count continues downward trend;
- Gov. Abbott, HHSC announce extension of emergency SNAP benefits for September;
- Friday night drive-in event at F.A.R.M.
Dallas County COVID-19 Case Count Continues Downward Trend
Dallas County Health and Human Services Monday reported 460 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total confirmed case count in Dallas County to 71,630. Of the 460 new cases the county reported Monday, 235 came through the Texas Department of State Health Services’ (DSHS) electronic laboratory reporting (ELR) system, and 168 were from previous months–nine from June, and 159 from July.
The county also reported Monday the death of a Dallas man in his 50s who was found deceased at his home.
Of the 902 confirmed deaths reported to date, about 26% have been associated with long-term care facilities.
The total number of probable cases in Dallas County is 2,946, including eight probable deaths from COVID-19.
“Today we report 292 new cases of COVID-19 in Dallas County. While the total number of cases being reported today is 460, 168 of those are old cases from June and July from the State’s backlogged electronic laboratory reporting system. We continue to see our average number of daily cases decrease and tomorrow we will have an updated chart showing our rolling seven day average based on date of test collection, as well as new data on hospitalizations and ER visits. The trends are going in the right direction but we must continue to be diligent about mask wearing, social distancing, hand-washing and avoiding unnecessary trips and indoor places where masks cannot be or are not being worn one hundred percent of the time,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Monday.
From Aug. 8-21, 393 school-aged children between 5 and 18 years of age were diagnosed with COVID-19 in Dallas County.
About 50% of these cases were high school age. By zip code of residence, 203 (51%) of these children were projected to have been enrolled in Dallas ISD schools, and 2% in Highland Park ISD.
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.
The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 continues to decline but remains high, the county says, with 11% of symptomatic patients presenting to area hospitals testing positive in week 34.
Twenty-five hospitals on Sunday reported ventilator and bed capacity numbers to Mayor Eric Johnson’s office. Of 5,942 total beds, 67% were occupied, of 920 total ICU beds, 64% were occupied, and of 993 total ventilators, 32% were in use.
UT Southwestern Medical Center data shows COVID-19 hospitalizations in North Texas hospitals declined 13% compared to a week ago and 27% compared to two weeks ago.
“In both Dallas and Tarrant Counties, hospitalizations are projected to slightly decline or stay flat over the next two weeks, though a slight increase is also within the range of possibilities in the forecast,” UTSW notes. “As encouraging as the results continue to be, the overall number of hospitalizations are still higher than they were in May, indicating ongoing pressure on the healthcare system.”
The UTSW forecast projects total COVID-19 hospitalizations could decline slightly to between 270 and 490 concurrent hospitalized cases by Sept. 11, and roughly 510 new COVID-19 cases per day are expected by Sept. 11.
Gov. Abbott, HHSC Announce Extension Of Emergency SNAP Benefits For September
Gov. Greg Abbott Monday announced the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will provide approximately $188 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits for the month of September as Texas continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Texas will continue to ensure access to nutritious meals as we mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Abbott. “This emergency SNAP extension will help Texans provide healthy food for their families.”
“As families return to school, this extension helps Texans purchase healthy, nutritious foods for their households,” said Texas HHS Access and Eligibility Services Deputy Executive Commissioner Wayne Salter.
More than 972,000 SNAP households will see the additional amount on their Lone Star Card by Sept. 15. The emergency September allotments are in addition to the more than $1 billion in benefits previously provided to Texans between April and August. HHSC received federal approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend the maximum, allowable amount of SNAP benefits to recipients based on family size.
Administered by HHSC, SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1.4 million eligible low-income families and individuals in Texas.
Texans in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP and Medicaid, at YourTexasBenefits.com or use the Your Texas Benefits mobile app to manage their benefits.
Friday Night Drive-In Event At F.A.R.M
The Harvest Project Food Rescue, F.A.R.M., Project La Familia, and Dallas Citizens For Change are hosting a drive-in style evening under the stars Friday at 700 S. Good Latimer Expressway.
Chef Diana Zamora’s social enterprise food concept, Hijas de Julia, will prepare a vegan menu made to order and served in a drive-in style experience while guests learn about food equity, civic engagement, and the work The Food Justice Coalition is doing in Dallas to provide nutritious fruits, vegetables, and prepared meals to underserved members of the community.
Guests will have two time slots to choose from at this event. The first service starts at 6 p.m. and the second at 7 p.m. To reserve a spot, click here.