Special to The Dallas Examiner
COVID-19 hospitalizations for Trauma Service Area E triggers mandatory capacity reductions
Trauma Service Area E – known as TSA E, which includes Dallas County and the greater Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, today reached seven consecutive days where the percentage of COVID-19 confirmed patients in regional hospitals, as a percentage of available hospital beds, exceeded 15%. This made TSA E an area with high hospitalizations and reaching this threshold automatically triggered certain occupancy reductions, according to Executive Order GA-32 by Gov. Greg Abbott.
Businesses whose occupancy rates were increased to 75% in October through GA-32 are immediately reduced back to 50%. This includes all restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms and exercise facilities and classes, museums and libraries in Dallas County and the other counties comprising TSA-E. A full list of affected businesses can be located at https://open.texas.gov. These capacity reductions do not affect businesses listed under the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency guidance or covered by other exemptions contained in the executive order.
TSA E will remain under these restrictions until there are seven consecutive days where the percentage of COVID-19 confirmed patients in regional hospitals as a percentage of available hospital beds is at 15% or less. The Texas Department of State Health Services provides additional information on the executive order and a list of all affected counties at https://www.dshs.texas.gov/ga32.
Secret Santas for Seniors
Dallas Park and Recreation Senior Program will match seniors with Secret Santa. The deadline for seniors to sign up is Dec. 14. Secret Santas can drop off the wrapped gifts for their senior at the following locations: Park’s Senior Program, located at 3012 S. Hampton; or Recreation Services Division, located at 8007 E. Northwest Highway. Gifts will be handed out Dec. 18 at a drive-thru holiday event. Seniors and Santas can sign-up at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040b44adaf28a5f49-senior. For more information, call 214-671-1602.
Increasing access to healthy food
Funding is available for up to $70,000 in forgivable loans for non-profits to increase food access options in low-income communities. The Dallas Development Fund through the City’s Economic Development Department will administer the program. Project Types: opening or expanding a facility that provides healthy foods; mobile or home food delivery; purchasing or upgrading technology; and starting or upgrading a garden. Eligibility requirements must be met. Apply online by Dec. 18 at https://dallasecodev.org/documentcenter/view/2488/healthy-food-dallas-community-solutions-nofa. For more information, contact Heather Lepeska at 214-670-1222.
New Singing Hills Recreation Center brings multigenerational programs to Southern Dallas families
The new Singing Hills Recreation Center opened to the public Monday. Dallas Park and Recreation Department encourages residents to a reserve time in advance to visit the facility by calling 214-670-7550. The public opening is subject to occupancy limits to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Council Member Tennell Atkins joined park and community leaders on Friday to welcome the new Singing Hills Recreation to southern Dallas.
“The City of Dallas invested more than $12 million over the course of six years into the new complex, which has a senior center, gymnasium, commercial kitchen, multipurpose group and technology center,” Atkins said. “We held several community conversations in order to make sure residents’ interests were taken into account.”
Dallas Park and Recreation Board President Calvert Collins-Bratton, Park and Recreation board member Bo Slaughter and Dallas Park and Recreation Director John D. Jenkins gave remarks at the ribbon cutting. Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax offered celebratory remarks via a pre-recorded message.
“Singing Hills is among our park system’s growing network of innovative facilities that address a community’s ever-changing leisure needs. Dallas Park and Recreation Board and Department along with our generous community partners are celebrating the continued growth, progress and improvements taking place here in this community,” Collins-Bratton said. “We are excited to offer residents of all ages in this community and other communities across the city a variety of leisure options at this beautiful location.”
Located near the Camp Wisdom blue line DART rail station, the ultra-sleek recreation center is an example of a transit-oriented design that serves the needs of the surrounding community.
“Dallas Park and Recreation is committed to making sure all residents and communities have access to quality parks, recreation facilities, and leisure programs that will improve the quality of their lives and of the Dallas community,” Jenkins said.
On Saturday, Atkins and the Parks Department hosted a Holiday at the Hills Drive Thru. The family holiday event was a free, socially distanced drive-thru with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. All registered guests received a holiday gift and free food.
On Tuesday, Atkins hosted the annual Home for the Holidays – Adopt A Family Drive Thru Celebration. The goal of the program is to bring holiday joy to as many families as possible. Over 1,000 families have been adopted through the annual program since its inception.