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COVID-19 updates: Child under 10 years old among most recent deaths in Tarrant County, officials say

The child is the youngest victim Tarrant County officials have reported since the pandemic began.

This story will be updated throughout the day on Jan. 26, 2021. 

A child under the age of 10 years old was among the latest victims to die in Tarrant County from COVID-19, officials announced Tuesday. 

The child is among 29 new victims, Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja said during a county commissioner's meeting.

The child is the youngest victim county officials have reported since the pandemic began.

Taneja said their death was a "rarity" and also heartbreaking.

Across the state, 13 children ages 9 or younger have died of the coronavirus as of Jan. 22, according to Texas Department of State Health Services data. An additional 24 individuals between 10 and 19 years had died.

There have been 2,101 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in Tarrant County since tracking began in March 2020.

The ages of the other victims announced Tuesday ranged from a Fort Worth man in his 30s to a Bedford woman in her 90s.

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The news comes as the county is currently dealing with widespread confusion over its new online tool that can help people track their COVID-19 vaccine registration status.

During Monday night's launch, many residents reported receiving an email with missing or wrong information related to their registration.

County officials said Tuesday morning that once the online tool is fixed, people should be able to check their spot in line for the COVID-19 registration.

RELATED: Tarrant County addresses confusion over new online tool that checks COVID-19 vaccine registration status

County officials hope the new system will help prevent people from registering multiple times and can instead confirm their registration went through. Taneja said one person had registered 47 times to get on the vaccine waitlist.

Around 417,000 people have registered with the county. Of that, around 340,000 people are eligible to receive the vaccine in the current distribution phases. 

More than 10% of county residents have been infected by the virus since the pandemic began, Taneja said, as the world crosses the 100 million cases threshold Tuesday. 

While the percentage of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients remains above 21% for the North Texas region, they are starting to decline, Taneja shared. The region peaked at around 27% earlier this month. 

The best way to get "back to normal" is to continue practicing those same guidelines from the CDC, Taneja explained. Those include: getting more people vaccinated, wearing a mask in any situation where you are around people you don't live with, keeping 6 feet of distance from others, and frequently washing your hands. 

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said during the meeting he'd like to see the next vaccination site in the county be a drive-thru site, to which health officials said plans are in the works and they are currently reviewing potential sites. 

Denton County reports 14 deaths 

Denton County Public Health announced 14 coronavirus-related deaths Tuesday afternoon, bringing the countywide total to 308 confirmed deaths since tracking began in mid-March 2020. 

Health officials said the deaths included: 

  • Two Denton men in their 50s
  • A Carrollton man in his 70s
  • Two men in their 70s who were residents of unincorporated southwest Denton County
  • A Little Elm man in his 70s
  • A man in his 70s who was a resident of Prairie Estates in Frisco
  • Two men in their 80s who were residents of Anthology of Denton
  • A woman in her 80s who was a resident of Anthology of Denton
  • A woman in her 80s who was a resident of Brinker Denton SCC
  • Two Denton men in their 80s
  • A woman in her 80s who was a resident of Prestonwood Court in Plano

DCPH also announced 774 additional cases of COVID-19, of which 629 are active cases. This increases the countywide total to 51,212 COVID-19 cases. 

“Though our COVID-19 inpatient rates are decreasing at local hospitals, we must remain vigilant in practicing public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Denton County," said Judge Andy Eads.

DCPH also reported 651 newly recovered cases of COVID-19, increasing the countywide recovery total to 36,024. 

Drive-thru vaccination hub at John Clark Stadium in Plano to begin operations 

Beginning Wednesday, the Collin County COVID-19 vaccine hub will relocate to John Clark Stadium in Plano. The previous hub clinic was located in McKinney.  

The new location will be operated by a private contractor Curative and will be a drive-through vaccination mega center for Collin County.

Plano officials said it is mandatory that people wear a mask when at the Curative site.  

Collin County currently has a total of four operating hubs. At this time, all four vaccine hubs operating appointment-only for those in Phase 1A and Phase 1B who have already registered online. 

RELATED: Here's where to register for a vaccine mega site regardless of which North Texas county you live in

Dallas County reports 22 coronavirus-related deaths

Dallas County health officials reported 22 deaths and 1,858 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. Among the cases reported, 1,497 are confirmed and 361 are probable. 

Officials said the deaths include women and men who range in age from their 40s to 90s.  

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, Dallas County Health and Human Services said it is continuing to work and provide coronavirus vaccines to those most at risk.

In a news release Tuesday, county officials said also 21,574 doses of the vaccine have been administered at the Fair Park mega-clinic since its launch on Jan. 11.

With the additional allotment from the state, there are almost 6,300 doses remaining for this week, officials said. 

In addition to the new cases and deaths reported, officials gave more information into the number of patients hospitalized due to coronavirus.  

There were 1,133 patients with COVID-19 in acute care in Dallas County reported Monday, officials said. 

Health officials said the county has seen a slight decrease in the numbers, forecasting for Dallas County actually predicts potential increases. 

Modeling from UT Southwestern predicts hospitalizations could reach 1,600 by Feb. 5 and cases remaining high at 2,700 a day, according to the news release. 

"Medical experts continue to predict that January and February will be challenging months for COVID but I continue to hope we’ll turn the corner soon as vaccine production ramps up and is more accessible to our community," Judge Clay Jenkins said.

Dallas first responders receive second dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Dallas Fire-Rescue tweeted out photos Tuesday afternoon of first responders receiving their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine.  

According to the tweet, about 2,000 members from Dallas Fire-Rescue, Dallas Police Department, and Dallas City Marshals received the second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. 

It's part of Operation Medicine Wheel, which includes a drive-thru style process to give the shots, using a parking garage at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.