Coronavirus Update: December 16th, 2020
By The Numbers:
Statistics are current as of December 16th, 11:00 a.m. CT
- In Texas, there are an estimated 1,352,489 active cases in our state, and there have been 23,565 deaths, as reported by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
- Tarrant County has at least 106,691 confirmed cases, the third-highest number of cases among Texas counties; Parker County has 5,407 confirmed cases; and Wise County has 2,655.
- In the United States, there are at least 16,317,892 cases and 300,032 deaths, as reported by the CDC.
Need to Know:
- Here’s what you need to know as the coronavirus vaccine heads your way. Last Friday, December 11th, the Food and Drug Administration issued the first emergency use authorization for a coronavirus vaccine, developed by Pfizer and German firm BioNTech, authorizing the vaccine for public use on people 16 years and older. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar has promised that the federal government will provide enough vaccines for 20 million Americans before the end of the year and estimates that there should be enough doses for all Americans by next spring —not only the Pfizer vaccine but also likely other vaccines that are currently in the pipeline. This Monday, December 14th, the first vaccine doses began to arrive in Texas, which is slated to receive 1.4 million doses this month alone—more than the total number of Texans who have tested positive for the virus. As outlined in the State of Texas’ vaccine distribution plan, frontline healthcare workers are first in line for the vaccine.
- This week, shipments of the vaccine began to reach North Texas hospitals, and yesterday, December 15th, the first person in Tarrant County received the vaccine. By the end of this week, at least four major Fort Worth hospitals are scheduled to receive vaccine shipments, including Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center and Texas Health Harris Methodist. Fort Worth’s own American Airlines is even part of the critical vaccine distribution effort, already transporting thousands of doses on flights as far as the Caribbean.
- Over the next few weeks, don’t let health and safety take a holiday too. Brighter days are ahead, but coronavirus cases are still currently rising in Texas, and the holiday season has already been associated with a rise in cases due to increased travel and less adherence to social distancing guidelines. Visit here for CDC recommendations for steps to safely protect yourself, your family, and community during the holidays.
- Free coronavirus tests are available in Fort Worth and Tarrant County throughout the holidays. The City of Fort Worth and Tarrant County have announced that they will continue to offer free coronavirus saliva testing through the holiday season, until January 8th, 2021. Click here to view times and locations. To locate a testing site anywhere in Texas, visit bit.ly/txcovidtest.