As COVID-19 cases continue a steady rise in Dallas County, here’s what you need to know today:
- Dallas County reports 808 new positive COVID-19 cases, two deaths;
- AG Paxton’s child support division sets new record by collecting $4.8 billion for Texas children.
Dallas County Reports 808 New COVID-19 Cases, Two Deaths
Dallas County Health and Human Services Thursday reported 808 additional positive cases of COVID-19–411 confirmed cases and 397 probable cases–as well as two additional deaths for a cumulative total of 105,788 cases and 1,140 confirmed deaths. There is a cumulative total of 9,328 probable cases, including 19 probable deaths.
The additional deaths reported Thursday include a Mesquite woman in her 50s and a Dallas man in his 70s who did not have underlying health conditions. Unless noted, they had underlying health conditions.
The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 remains high, with 14.8% of symptomatic patients presenting to area hospitals testing positive in the week ending Oct. 31. A provisional total of 608 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in school-aged children (5 to 17 years) during the same week, an almost two-fold increase from the numbers of children diagnosed in this age group four weeks earlier.
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.
The county reported there were 597 COVID-19 patients in acute care in the county for the period ending Nov. 11. The number of emergency room visits for COVID-19 like symptoms in Dallas County was 564 for the same time period, which represents around 20% of all emergency department visits in the county according to information reported to the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council.
“As our numbers grow, our hospitals are filling and our healthcare heroes are becoming stretched and exhausted. It’s important for people to remember that the healthcare safety net is more than beds, but includes people, and over the last nine months, our people have been worked to new extremes,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. “This is the year to do your Black Friday shopping online only, to celebrate Thanksgiving with just your nuclear family, and to forgo invitations to friend’s homes or trips to restaurants, bars, and other crowded venues. Consider grocery delivery or curbside pickup, and if you choose to frequent a restaurant, choose delivery or curbside pickup during this spike in cases.”
Jenkins also encouraged telecommuting and diligence in complying with the CDC guidelines.
“According to UTSW, we are currently at 56% compliance with the safety protocols the CDC tells us can keep us safe. If we can reach 65% compliance, we can flatten out this spike,” he continued. “Every contact poses some risk and now is the time to shrink those contacts to the bare minimum until we can get this spike under control.”
AG Paxton’s Child Support Division Sets New Record by Collecting $4.8 Billion for Texas Children
Attorney General Ken Paxton Thursday announced that the Office of the Attorney General’s Child Support Division set a new record by collecting more than $4.8 billion in child support for the state fiscal year 2020. The Child Support Division serves over 1.6 million children and surpassed the previous year’s record by 10%. Texas currently leads the nation in total child support collections – more than 27 other states and territories combined.
“I am immensely proud of the hard work and dedication of our Child Support Division to improve the lives of Texas children and ensure that families receive the support they need and deserve,” said Paxton. “This success is particularly remarkable in light of the challenges the division faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of physical offices. The Division’s performance improves each year and, as such, continues to benefit children across the state.”
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Child Support Division transitioned to a virtual service delivery model. Since mid-March, the Division has leveraged technology to build new administrative and legal processes that kept child support cases moving forward and created live chat capabilities.
Serving one in four Texas children, the Child Support Division handles over 1.5 million cases annually and collects $11.68 for children for every $1 spent to operate the program.
While physical offices remain closed to the public except for limited services by appointment, services may also be obtained via email, phone, videoconference, and the program’s new chat function.
For more information about the attorney general’s office and the child support services it offers, visit https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/child-support.