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COVID-19 updates: Dallas County sets new daily record with more than 2,400 cases

Dallas and Tarrant counties reported a combined total of 25 deaths Wednesday.

With about two weeks until Christmas, Dallas County has reached a new record in daily cases and Tarrant County is reporting its highest number of hospitalized patients. 

Dallas County health officials reported 2,438 new cases Wednesday of which 1,942 are confirmed and 496 are probable.

The previous record was set on Nov. 21 when 2,183 cases were reported by county officials.

County health officials said in the past month, more than 4,000 school-aged children and staff have tested positive for coronavirus. Officials said 534 of those cases have been associated with extracurricular activities.

Health officials have also seen 26 outbreaks at group homes and homeless shelters. One facility has reported 89 cases since October.

The new daily case record for the county comes just two days after the Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine was administered to frontline workers at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

County health officials also reported 12 new deaths Wednesday. Among the latest victims was a Dallas man in his 50s who had underlying health conditions was found dead at home, officials said. 

The other victims range from a Garland man in his 40s to a Dallas man in his 70s. This brings the confirmed death toll to 1,403 since tracking began in March.

Tarrant County reports nearly 1,000 hospitalizations 

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, Tarrant County is reporting nearly 1,000 patients in area hospitals due to COVID-19. 

Wednesday afternoon officials announced that there are currently 996 patients compared to 919 reported the day before. 

The previous high in hospitalizations was confirmed Sunday when 958 patients were reported, according to the county dashboard. 

One month ago, there were 778 people in Tarrant County hospitals because of the coronavirus. 

In addition to the record high hospitalizations, 13 more people in the county have died. The victims' ages range from being in their 50s to 90s. Officials said all of the patients had underlying health conditions.

Sanger ISD will discontinue remote learning in January

Sanger Independent School District has informed parents that it will suspend remote learning in the new year. Beginning Jan. 11 all students will return to campus unless they meet certain exceptions. 

Those include students who are medically at-risk or living with at-risk relatives. A doctor's note is required by Jan. 8. 

Students who test positive for COVID-19 or come into close contact with someone infected must quarantine for 10 days, according to district officials.

District officials said they made the decision to suspend remote learning based on attendance and grades from their first two grading periods. 

"Despite all our efforts, we have learned the online learning has not been as successful as we have hoped for our remote learners," the district said. 

To read the letter sent to parents, click here. 

UT Southwestern Medical Center administers more than 700 vaccines

In an update Wednesday morning, UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas said more than 750 employees received Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine within the first 10 hours of getting the shipment.  

Twenty-three medical facilities received the vaccine Monday and Tuesday. 

Pfizer is shipping its vaccine directly to the providers via FedEx and UPS, state officials said. 

The vaccine plan from DSHS prioritizes hospital staff who work with patients, home health care workers, and staff and residents at long-term care facilities as the focus for early vaccination.

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