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COVID-19 updates: Dallas County sees deadliest day of pandemic with 40 deaths

Tarrant County has reported more than 2,000 coronavirus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

This story will be updated throughout the day as new information is released.

Dallas County experienced its deadliest day after 40 deaths were reported Wednesday. There were also 1,671 cases of COVID-19 added.

"These deaths are a result of the high number of COVID cases that have been reported over the last several weeks. Increased deaths always follows increased infections," said County Judge Clay Jenkins.

Jenkins said to make small sacrifices to keep the community and country strong in the fight, so continue to wear a mask, social distance and avoid crowds and get-togethers.

In Dallas County, there have been four cases of the COVID-19 variant that emerged in the United Kingdom. Those people did not recently travel outside the U.S., county health officials said.

There have been 420 children in Dallas County under the age of 18 who have been hospitalized since the start of the pandemic, including 32 patients diagnosed with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C). Over 80% of the reported MIS-C cases in Dallas have occurred in children who are Hispanic, Latino or Black, health officials said.

Wednesday night, Dallas County requested a FEMA COVID-19 mass vaccine mega-site.

If approved, the county's allotted vaccine doses would go up 12,000 a day, and add roughly 72,000 shots per week in Dallas County. Right now the number of weekly doses sits at roughly 43,000, meaning the number of vaccines could go up to 115,000 a week if this request is approved.

Tarrant County Public Health reported 12 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths Wednesday. Two child deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours in Tarrant County, both were treated at Cook Children's and died of complications of COVID-19.

A 9-year-old Vernon boy died early Tuesday morning and the death of a boy less than 1-year-old was reported this week.

J.J. Boatman was identified by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner. He had just turned 9 earlier this month, according to information found on a GoFundMe that was set up for his family.

There have been 2,113 deaths in Tarrant County and 2,092 deaths in Dallas County.

The deaths in Dallas County ranged from a Dallas woman in her 20s who died in hospice and did not have underlying medical conditions to a long-term care facility resident in Dallas in his 90s who had been hospitalized. 

Three of those who died did not have underlying health conditions, seven were under the age of 60, and nine lived in long-term care facilities. 

Denton County

Denton County is reporting 645 additional cases, of which 538 are active cases. There have been 51,857 cases and 308 deaths in the county since tracking began in March 2020.

Tarrant County

Among the new deaths reported in Tarrant County was an Arlington man in his 30s is among the latest victims to die during the pandemic.  

The 11 other victims in Tarrant County who died ranged from being in their 90s to 60s. All of the people had underlying health conditions, according to officials. 

The county has reported 2,113 deaths since tracking began in March 2020.

Tarrant County health officials also reported 1,227 new coronavirus cases Wednesday afternoon. This brings the total confirmed case count to 182,189, according to the county's dashboard. 

Local health officials also provided an update on the number of people who have received their COVID-19 vaccine. Tarrant County Public Health said it has provided 47,817 vaccinations to date. 

Dallas officials hope to administer 200-doses per hour at new vaccination site

Dallas officials held a news conference Wednesday morning to share details on a new drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination site set to open tomorrow.

Officials said the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center will begin vaccine operations at 10 a.m. Thursday. It will run for 9 hours each day, through the end of Saturday.

There are 5,000 coronavirus vaccinations available for this week. Operators said they hope to administer about 2,000 vaccines a day, with about 200-doses per hour. 

Credit: David Goins / WFAA
The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center will open at 10 a.m. Thursday as a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine site.

RELATED: City of Dallas drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination site to open Thursday

Rocky Vaz, the Director of Emergency Management said 5,000 notifications will be sent out Wednesday.

The notifications will be sent via email, phone calls, and text messages. The names and information is being pulled from the Dallas County registration database.

Officials will administer the COVID-19 vaccine to people in Phase 1A and 1B who are currently on Dallas County’s waiting list. 

There is not a separate registration for the city. Here is the link to get your name on the county's COVID-19 vaccine waiting list. Click on the green bar in the middle of that page.

City officials said no walk-ins will be allowed and people are advised to show up in a vehicle to the convention center. 

The convention center is also the same location where first responders are receiving their second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Those who do not have a vehicle are encouraged to schedule an appointment at the Fair Park vaccination site. 

RELATED: How to sign up for the city of Dallas' drive-thru vaccine site

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More than 300 first responders receive second dose of coronavirus vaccination 

On Tuesday, Dallas Fire-Rescue began administering the second dose of the Moderna vaccine to first responders from DFR, the Dallas Police Department, and the Dallas City Marshal’s Office.

DFR officials said during Tuesday's operations, second dose vaccinations were administered to 353 first responders.  

The vaccination process is being conducted in two phases. Officials said this in an effort to make sure that each first responder receives their second dose as close to the 28-day mark as possible:

  • Phase 1: Tuesday, Jan. 26 to Thursday, Jan. 28
  • Phase 2: Saturday, Jan. 30 to Sunday, Jan. 31

Duncanville ISD announces free rapid COVID-19 testing for employees

Duncanville ISD will officially open its new school district police station Wednesday afternoon. The opening comes one day before the district will begin to offer free rapid result testing for employees. 

District nurses will use the station’s training room to conduct the free COVID-19 testing, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday.