COVID-19 updates: As Tarrant County Health recommends virtual learning, Fort Worth mayor urges Fort Worth ISD to give students option to return – WFAA.com

The county health department cited a two-week upward trend in both the positivity rate and increase in hospital visits for COVID-19-like illness.

Tarrant County Public Health is recommending all schools in the county learn online-only, citing a two-week upward trend in both the positivity rate and increase in hospital visits for COVID-19-like illness.

Health officials reported 333 additional positive cases of COVID-19 on Monday.

Tarrant County Public Health has a return to school guidance dashboard that analyzes whether schools should attend virtually, in-person or a hybrid of both based on the COVID-19 related data.

The latest dashboard update, which happens every Monday, said all schools in the county should be virtual-only because of the COVID-19-like illness trend and the percent of positive COVID-19 tests is 11.2%. Both have been increasing for the past two weeks.

The county tracks the emergency department visits for people experiencing COVID-19-like illness, meaning both a fever and either a cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

Fort Worth ISD board members are planning to revote Tuesday on whether the district should extend virtual learning into early November. The measure failed at a meeting last week. If it had passed, in-person learning wouldn’t be offered until at least Nov. 2.

Late Monday night Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price issued a statement she said she co-authored with various civic, business and community leaders imploring the school district to give parents the option to return their children to school. 

“Now is the time for adults to come together and make the decisions that are In the best interest or children,” the statement reads. “Parents must be given the option to decide which learning environments best fit their needs and the right to use local data and health metrics to inform decisions of whether to return kids back to tangible in-person instruction…Parents should be given the option of whether to place their kids back in the classroom or continue ‘distance learning.’ It is time for leadership to step up and do the right thing for our kids.”

Read the full statement here

Out of 4,793 total hospital beds in the county, there are 1,456 available beds and 3,327 occupied beds as of Monday.

RELATED: See Tarrant County’s school dashboard

There have been 47,231 cases, 41,306 recoveries and 633 deaths since tracking began in March.

Most cases have been in the 25 to 44 age group, while most deaths have been in the age group over 65 years old.

More men in Tarrant County have died of COVID-19, while more women have had positive cases, according to the county’s data dashboard.

Malakoff HS goes virtual for three days after student tests positive

District officials at Malakoff ISD in Henderson County confirmed Sunday that another student at the district’s high school had tested positive for COVID-19.

Another student at Malakoff High School tested positive for COVID-19, officials announced in a letter to parents Sunday, prompting administrators to close the high school campus for three days from Monday, Sept. 21 through Wednesday, Sept. 23. 

The school will have a deep cleaning on Monday and students who had “close contact” with the student who tested positive will be contacted, according to officials.

RELATED: Malakoff HS goes virtual for three days after student tests positive | Here are the cases at local schools

Dallas County reports two new COVID-19 deaths

Dallas County added 314 new COVID-19 cases and two new deaths Monday. Local officials also added 11 probable cases and two cases from August.

The two deaths were a Dallas man in his 50s and a Dallas woman in her 50s. Both had underlying high-risk health conditions 

The county has now had 78,205 total confirmed cases and 997 confirmed deaths.

Denton County adds 106 new cases

Local health officials in Denton County reported 106 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the county’s total to 11,607 since tracking began in March.

The county also reported no new COVID-19 deaths. This is now the fifth straight day with no deaths reported in Denton County. 

The county has reported 107 total COVID-19 deaths.

US cruise lines vow 100% testing in plan for resuming sailing amid pandemic

Major cruise lines say they will test all passengers and crew for COVID-19 prior to boarding as part of their plan for resuming sailing in the Americas.

The Cruise Lines International Association, a trade group that represents 95% of global ocean-going cruise capacity, said Monday that its members will also require passengers and crew to wear masks while onboard whenever physical distancing can’t be maintained.

No date has been set for the resumption of cruising in the Americas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a no-sail order for U.S. waters through Sept. 30.

The association’s safety plan will now go to the CDC, which will consider it as the agency decides whether to lift the no-sail order. The order has been extended twice si

nce March.

RELATED: US cruise lines vow 100% testing in plan for resuming sailing amid pandemic

COVID-19 cases at SMU, TCU decline compared to previous week

New cases of COVID-19 at Southern Methodist University and Texas Christian University were in a decline last week compared to previous weeks.

There were 84 new cases last week at SMU and 28 new cases at TCU.

During the week of Sept. 7, there were 167 cases at SMU and 100 cases at TCU. 

As of Sunday at SMU, there are 161 current active cases in students and two active cases in employees.

At TCU, there are 34 active cases as of Monday, 29 of which are students and five are employees.

RELATED: COVID-19 cases at SMU, TCU decline compared to previous week

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