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Use of the Dante networking platform in the COVID era has enabled safe social distancing for SFA Sound Recording Technology students while still providing them with real-life studio experiences with a more robust digital production.

March 8, 2021 – Last summer, digital audio networking world leader Audinate published an article commending the Stephen F. Austin State University’s Sound Recording Technology program for its use of Audinate’s cutting-edge Dante networking platform.

The article explained that by using a Dante-backed audio-over-IP system, SRT could alter workflow so multiple students were actively engaging with a production – allowing for more hands-on educational opportunities.

After using Dante through a full semester of COVID classroom social distancing this past fall, the SRT program has provided a different kind of success story for the global leader of professional digital audio networking. SFA SRT has demonstrated how use of Dante in a pandemic enables safe social distancing while still providing students with real-life studio experiences.

As a result, Audinate has again recognized SRT with another nationally published article, keeping the SFA program in the industry limelight and its students in the forefront as highly knowledgeable and skilled potential employees.

James Adams, assistant professor in SFA’s School of Music and director of the SRT program, facilitated campus integration of Dante over the past few years because he not only wanted to enhance university technology, he also wanted to heighten instructional offerings at SFA.

“The traditional workflow for performance was your standard front-of-house endeavor,” Adams was quoted in the first Audinate article. “It worked, but it wasn’t flexible, and it wouldn’t allow us to get additional technologies or students involved.” By converting to a Dante-backed audio-over-IP system, Adams was able to significantly alter the workflow so multiple students were actively engaging with the production – allowing for more “hands-on educational components and a more robust digital production,” the article explained.

Now, the Dante platform has also proven itself as an effective means to connect students musically while they are isolated in studio control rooms as a safer means of social distancing.

“In these times where COVID transmission prevention is one of our top priorities in the studio, I have learned how fortunate we were to already be working with a technology that could easily adapt to our new needs,” Adams said. “In the past, Dante-enable technologies helped us overcome hurdles presented by standard, analog audio equipment. During COVID, the value and flexibility that Dante grants us has been realized on a whole new level, keeping in mind that this is also only made possible by our institution’s existing and vast ethernet systems.”

Like many programs that were previously housed in the Griffith Fine Arts Building on campus, SRT had to relocate last summer as demolition began at Griffith to make way for a long-awaited fine arts expansion initiative. SRT is temporarily housed in the Robert McKibben Building in a former TV studio built in the 1970s for broadcasting lectures.

“The layout of the rooms in our temporary space is not like a recording studio,” Adams said. “A recording studio typically has a control room with a big window that looks into the ‘tracking’ room, which is usually a room large enough to fit a band. Sometimes we have auxiliary isolation rooms that we typically use for vocals or to isolate amplifiers and certain instruments. Music spaces are designed for musicians to be together to create music. Well, in the time of COVID, we need individuals separated or in completely different rooms. Our temporary space just so happens to have several separate rooms in addition to one large one.”

In pre-Covid times, before face masks and social distancing mandates, these temporary spaces would not be ideal for how music is usually recorded and produced. But now, the space is actually better for delivering a safe recording arts education than the previous space, Adams explained.

“Because of the separate rooms, we are able to isolate the individual performers that need to be,” he said. “For example, we can place a vocalist in one room and a saxophonist in another. We can completely separate the ‘wind-powered’ instruments and voices from each other. Non-wind instruments can safely be in the larger room together where they can socially distance.

“Dante-enabled technologies made connecting these isolated rooms to our control room simple, fast and easy,” Adams explained. “It is also incredibly stable and reliable.”

Last fall, Adams’ department was utilizing a total of 250 Dante signals. But, he told Audinate he expects that count to go up as the university begins to consider the use of audio-over-IP networking outside of the music department.

“The IT department is looking to us as a model for AV right now,” Adams said in the Audinate article. “I’m getting asked daily about how we successfully solved our social distancing challenges. There are a lot of ideas about what our system will look like long term.”

Michael Coffee, deputy chief information officer for Information Technology Services at SFA, said it was helpful to see how the Dante technology worked across the network.

“I don’t know if we are going to implement that type of technology any time soon, but it will be considered when we do our next iteration of classroom upgrades,” he said.

In the renovation and new construction planned for Griffith Fine Arts Building, SRT’s new facilities will be completely connected by a Dante network.

“We learned a lot last semester about how flexible and scalable Dante really is,” Adams said in the article. “People can still achieve a lot of great things if they can’t see each other. If they can hear one another, and there is minimal delay, then that is definitely enough. We’re at such a negligible delay right now that we can perform small concerts together. It’s very exciting.”

For more information on how Dante is impacting higher education and to access the most recent article about SFA SRT, visit For more information about the SRT program, contact Adams at

March 7, 2021 - The Texas DSHS Covid-19 Dashboard updated at 1:45pm with 2 new probable cases, 2 new recoveries, and a new estimated active case count of 85 on March 6, 2021.

Of the 2 new probable cases, DSHS reports 1 is an older probable case reported by a lab.

The number of total confirmed cases reduced by 1 for a new total of 879. Case reductions have occurred before when cases are discovered to belong to a different county of residence. There was no explanation as to why the decrease.

March 6th (1:45pm) Numbers: (changes since March 5th)
Total Confirmed Cases - 879 (1 removed case)
Total Probable Cases - 660 (2 new cases)
Total Fatalities - 59
Total Estimated Active Cases - 85
Total Estimated Recovered - 1,395 (2 new)

Editor's note: Once today's numbers have been released, this article will be updated to reflect any changes in data.

March 6, 2021 - Josh Tipton, Constable Precinct 5, reports the arrest of a man selling narcotics out of a church property in Precinct 5.

Constable Tipton states an individual was without a place to live and the church allowed him to stay on their property in a building at that location.

Unbeknownst to the church congregation, narcotics were being sold from the church building where the man was staying.

According to Constable Tipton, he received an anonymous tip from a cooperating individual which led to investigation at 4pm March 6, 2021, search of the property and subsequent narcotics arrest.

At this time the name of the individual arrested has not yet been released.

March 5, 2021 - The Texas DSHS Covid-19 Dashboard updated at 1:50pm with 1 new confirmed case, 1 new death, and 3 new recoveries on March 5, 2021.

The new estimated active case count is 86. The new death count from Covid-19 for 2021 is now 19.

March 5th (1:50pm) Numbers: (changes since March 3rd)
Total Confirmed Cases - 880 (1 new case)
Total Probable Cases - 658 (0 new cases)
Total Fatalities - 59 (1 new)
Total Estimated Active Cases - 86
Total Estimated Recovered - 1,393 (3 new)

March 5, 2021 Update: Auroconcepts anticipates it will have vaccines still available after it has given all of the vaccines to those who had an appointment. At 4:45pm today at the John D. Windham Civic Center, vaccines will be available on a first come first serve basis for health care workers, people 65 and older and those with medical conditions that put them at greater risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19, teachers, school and child care personnel.

March 3, 2021 - Appointment times are still available for a March 5th COVID Vaccine Clinic hosted by Aurora Concepts Family Medical Practice. To schedule a vaccine shot, contact Aurora Concepts during normal business hours, 8am to 4pm, at 936-598-3296.

March 1, 2021 - The 12th week of vaccine distribution starts March 1, 2021 and Shelby County has one provider on the list. Aurora Concepts Family Medical Practice is allocated to receive a total of 1,170 Pfizer vaccine doses. This will be the first shipment of Pfizer vaccines to the county.

The new vaccine shipment to Aurora Concepts will cover those on their waiting list and more. To schedule a vaccine shot, contact Aurora Concepts during normal business hours at 936-598-3296. Vaccines are still currently only for health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities, people 65 and older and those with medical conditions that put them at greater risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

Shelby County, a part of Public Health Region 4/5N, reports over the past week an additional 244 people have been vaccinated with at least one dose for a total of 1,351.

Also, over the past week an additional 213 people have been fully vaccinated for a total of 848 for the county.

The county has an estimated population of 19,449 of people 16 years of age and older. With the 12th week shipment of first doses vaccines, the county will nearly double the number of vaccines received in total from 1,200 first doses to 2,370.

Past weekly vaccine allocations for Shelby County:

  • Week 11, February 22 - Hope Community Medicine 200 vaccine doses (Moderna)
  • Week 8, February 1 - Hope Community Medicine 300 vaccine doses (Moderna)
  • Week 4, January 4 - Aurora Concepts, PLLC 100 vaccine doses (Moderna)
  • Week 4, January 4 - Hope Community Medicine 100 vaccine doses (Moderna)
  • Week 2, December 21 - Aurora Concepts, PLLC 100 vaccine doses (Moderna)
  • Week 2, December 21 - Brookshires Pharmacy 300 vaccine doses (Moderna)
  • Week 2, December 21 - Hope Community Medicine 100 vaccine doses (Moderna)

COVID-19 Vaccine Coming to Texas Continues to Increase
State surpasses 5 million doses administered

The number of COVID-19 vaccine doses shipping to Texas providers continues to climb with 676,280 first doses allocated to the state by the federal government for the week of March 1. The Texas Department of State Health Services has instructed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ship those doses to 522 providers in 199 counties. The total includes 84,240 doses for federally-supported sites in Houston and North Texas and another 52,650 unused doses returned to Texas by the Federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care.

Texas providers swiftly resumed vaccination following last week’s winter storms and have now administered more than 5 million doses. More than 3.3 million people have received at least one dose, and almost 1.7 million are fully vaccinated. Progress continues in vaccinating adults 65 years old and older with more than 40 percent having received at least one dose and nearly 1 in 5 fully vaccinated.

In addition to the first doses mentioned above, the state is ordering 429,600 doses intended as the second dose for people first vaccinated a few weeks ago. DSHS automatically orders second doses to arrive at providers in the week they can be administered, so they will be available when needed. People should be able to return to the same provider to receive their second dose within six weeks of getting the first.

Texas continues to vaccinate health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities, people 65 and older and those with medical conditions that put them at greater risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Vaccine remains limited based on the capacity of the manufacturers to produce it, so it will take time for Texas to receive enough vaccine for all the people in the priority populations who want to be vaccinated. Currently, there is not enough vaccine to supply every provider with vaccine every week.

The Food and Drug Administration is currently considering whether to grant an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. Early indications are that Texas could receive an initial supply of more than 200,000 doses. DSHS has not yet received final word on a shipping timeline. People can find more information on COVID-19 vaccine at

Helpful links:

Clinic is over

March 4, 2021 - (Update): Save our Seniors:

There are still appointments left for the COVID vaccination clinic being held today at the Windham Civic Center. Military medical personnel are conducting the clinic.

Any one in Category 1A-Frontline Healthcare workers Or Category 1B-People 65+ or people 16+ with a health condition that increases risk of severe COVID‑19 illness can schedule an appointment by calling 936-591-4050 before 3pm today.

March 2, 2021 - (Update): The home bound appointments are all taken at this time. There are still appointments available for the clinic site at the Civic Center on Thursday, March 4th. The vaccine will be administered by military medical staff and will be Pfizer vaccine that is a 2 dose vaccine.

Shelby County has been chosen as one of the first counties in Texas to utilize the Save Our Seniors Initiative to provide Covid-19 vaccine to people over the age of 75 or those who are homebound and cannot travel to receive the vaccine. Shelby County will be holding a clinic Thursday, March 4, 2021 at the Windham Civic Center. 

Governor Abbott, TDEM Launch First Week Of Save Our Seniors Initiative In 26 Counties

AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Division of Emergency (TDEM), the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), and the Texas Military Department (TMD) have announced 26 participating counties for the first week of the Save Our Seniors initiative. The Governor announced the Save Our Seniors program in Corpus Christi last week to ensure more seniors are vaccinated throughout the state.

The state has allocated up to 8,000 vaccine doses for the first week of the program, which the state will use in partnership with local officials and service organizations to target Texans who are 75 years and older or homebound. TDEM and TMD will work alongside local jurisdictions to set up a central drive-through vaccine clinic in the community or administer directly to homebound seniors — these decisions will be driven by local jurisdictions based on their most vulnerable identified individuals.

"The Save Our Seniors program will help us reach vulnerable homebound seniors across the state and provide them with live-saving COVID-19 vaccines," said Governor Abbott. "As more communities are identified and selected for the program, we will be able to get more shots in arms and further strengthen our response to this virus."

Counties participating in the first round of the program are Aransas, Bastrop, Brewster, Brooks, Brown, Cass, Dallas, Eastland, Freestone, Gray, Hill, Hockley, Hudspeth, Hutchinson, Irion, Lee, McCulloch, Medina, Morris, Panola, Rains, Refugio, Robertson, San Jacinto, Shelby, and Webb.

In coordination with local and state partners, counties and cities have been selected based on data provided from DSHS related to the following factors:

  1. The state targeted areas with ongoing high hospitalizations;
  2. The state looked at the number of approved providers serving the area;
  3. The state took into account areas who reported no more than approximately a third vaccinated for seniors;
  4. The state took into account total allocations over the previous 12 weeks;
  5. The state utilized data showing the least vaccinated counties for both 65+ and 75+ administered doses;
  6. The state focused on allocating vaccine equitably across the state.

Updated - An individual entered the property of East Texas Collision Center on Loop 500 in Center, Texas on March 3, 2021. There the individual took without permission a 1986 Chevrolet Caprice maroon or Burgundy in color.

This vehicle was stopped in the early morning hours of March 3, 2021 (same day) approximately at 2:40am, by Desoto Parish Deputies, before anyone knew the car was stolen.

The driver was identified and has been confirmed by Desoto Parish Deputy as Carlos Deshun Cowthorn of Shreveport. Any information concerning this matter can be reported to the Center Police Department at 936-598-2788.

March 3, 2021 - A 1986 Burgundy Chevrolet Caprice, four door, was stolen last night from East Texas Collision on Loop 500 in Center between 6pm March 2, 2021 and 7am March 3, 2021. A cash reward is being offered for information on the return of this car. Please contact the Center Police Department with information at 936-598-2788.

March 3, 2021 - The Texas DSHS Covid-19 Dashboard updated at 2:05pm with 1 new probable case, 1 new death, and 1 new recovery on March 3, 2021.

The active cases lowered by 1 for a total of 89 estimated active cases. The new death count from Covid-19 for 2021 is now 18.

March 3rd (2:05pm) Numbers: (changes since March 2)
Total Confirmed Cases - 879 (0 new case)
Total Probable Cases - 658 (1 new case)
Total Fatalities - 58 (1 new)
Total Estimated Active Cases - 89
Total Estimated Recovered - 1,390 (1 new)

March 3, 2021 - The Texas Department of State Health Services today notified all vaccine providers that they should immediately include school and child care workers in vaccine administration.

Last night, DSHS received a letter from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services directing states to expand eligibility to include people who work in school and child care operations. The federal directive defined the people eligible as “those who work in pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools, as well as Head Start and Early Head Start programs (including teachers, staff, and bus drivers) and those who work as or for licensed child care providers, including center-based and family care providers.”

This action does not change the other groups prioritized for vaccination in Texas. Providers are encouraged to continue their efforts to vaccinate older adults since the burden of COVID-19 falls most severely on people age 65 and older.

Updated 5:14pm - Today, the Texas DSHS Covid-19 Dashboard updated at 5:05pm with 1 new confirmed case, 1 new death, and 1 new recovery. The active cases lowered by 1 for a total of 90 estimated active cases. The new death count for 2021 is now 17 from Covid-19.

March 2nd (5:05pm) Numbers: (changes since March 1)
Total Confirmed Cases - 879 (1 new case)
Total Probable Cases - 657 (0 new cases)
Total Fatalities - 57 (1 new)
Total Estimated Active Cases - 90
Total Estimated Recovered - 1,389 (1 new)

March 2, 2021 - Texas DSHS Covid-19 Dashboard reports 91 active cases as of March 1, 2021.

Since the last report on SCT on February 26 another new death has been added for a total of 56. The new death increases the total number of deaths to 16 from COVID-19 for the year 2021.

Of the 7 new cases, all are new confirmed cases.

March 1st (4:50pm) Numbers: (changes since Feb. 26th)
Total Confirmed Cases - 878 (7 new cases)
Total Probable Cases - 657 (0 new cases)
Total Fatalities - 56 (1 new)
Total Estimated Active Cases - 91
Total Estimated Recovered - 1,388 (4 new)