City Council monitors hospital bed counts, gives update on COVID-19 response efforts (copy)

The city council chambers sit in the shade of the sun April 13 in Arlington. The city opened a free drive-thru COVID-19 testing location at The Parks Mall at Arlington.

In the first batch of results from Arlington’s new drive-thru COVID-19 testing center, the positive tests were predominantly Hispanic individuals, followed by African American individuals, Fire Chief Don Crowson said during the afternoon Arlington City Council meeting Tuesday.

Crowson also reported two additional COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total to six in Arlington, and said three of the six deaths were Hispanic individuals.

From a Tarrant County perspective, the virus is still deadly to the elderly and is disproportionately affecting the African American, and to some degree, Hispanic populations, he said.

The city opened a free drive-thru COVID-19 testing location at The Parks Mall at Arlington on Friday. Crowson said 133 tests were administered Friday, 207 on Monday and about 239 on Tuesday.

“We're paying attention to the groups that the disease seems to be impacting, and we're trying to focus our efforts in these areas,” he said.

The testing center is located near three ZIP code areas concerning the city, Crowson said. The three areas are ZIP codes 76010, 76014 and 76018. He said the significance of the three ZIP codes is the number of positive COVID-19 cases in each one.

According to Tarrant County Public Health’s COVID-19 website, ZIP code 76010 has 103 positive cases, 76014 has 43, and 76018 has 29.

However, Crowson said COVID-19 testing is going well and that testing demand might not be as large as the testing location’s capacity is. He said the Arlington site is doing more tests than any other site in Tarrant County.

“What is surprising us now is that we're starting to run out of names to test,” he said.

On Wednesday, about 150 individuals will be tested, Crowson said, and they are going to start accepting some from Tarrant County Public Health to test as well.

In the evening Arlington City Council meeting, an ordinance was unanimously passed adopting provisions in Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order he made Monday.

Abbott’s order is about reopening business in Texas. In the order, all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, libraries, museums and malls can reopen at a 25% occupancy limit starting Friday.

After the vote passed, Mayor Jeff Williams thanked Arlington citizens for continuing to social distance.

“We need to work harder than ever to obey the restrictions and the guidelines that are before us to make sure we continue to maintain that social distancing because the coronavirus is still here,” he said.

@bjgarcia27

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