Dallas County

Dallas County Update on Record COVID-19 Hospitalizations, Holiday Safety

Watch the 11 a.m. news conference in the video player below

NBC 5 News

Dallas County leaders on Friday will address the record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, holiday safety and vaccine distribution.

The news conference was with Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and Dr. Philip Huang, Director of Dallas County Health and Human Services.

"Now is a time for small sacrifices to keep our community and country strong at this time of unprecedented high spread," Jenkins tweeted Thursday evening. "Community-wide vaccinations are coming. Stay in the fight."

The news conference follows the county health department's Thursday report, which said there are more than 800 COVID-19 patients in county hospitals and warned that the hospital system could soon be exhausted.

The county also added another 1,382 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 Thursday along with 10 more deaths attributed to the virus.

It's been a milestone week of progress in Texas' battle against the coronavirus. The first COVID-19 vaccinations began Monday with a limited rollout to select hospitals across the state. By Tuesday, vaccine shipments expanded to dozens more hospitals, with vaccine priority given to frontline health care workers.

On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott said the state was on track to provide more than 1 million vaccinations to Texans by the end of the month -- the largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history.

The number of vaccines received is expected to increase next week when Abbott said the state could be receiving vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna.

Abbott said Thursday that we must use every tool we have to reduce hospitalizations in the state, including wearing masks, practicing social distance and frequent hand-washing, but also he also encouraged the use of antibody therapy drugs designed to fight the virus.

More than 1 million Texans are expected to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by the end of the month as part of the largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history, Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday.

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