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COVID-19 In DFW Aug. 30-Sept. 5: Dallas County Judge Urges Continued Caution During Holiday Weekend

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins
Christopher Connelly
/
KERA News

Officials across Texas, including Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, urged residents to take precautions against the virus over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Get the latest news from KERA's live updates page.

Saturday, Sept. 5

Dallas County Reports 398 New Cases, 1 More Death

Dallas County is reporting 398 additional COVID-19 cases and one more death. There have been a total of 73,453 confirmed cases in the county, including 944 deaths.

Of the 398 cases reported today, 195 came through the backlog in the state’s reporting system. Of today’s backlogged cases, 151 are from August and 44 are from September.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins continued to urge residents to take precautions against the virus over the holiday weekend.

“We cannot not see a big bump in cases like we saw 10 days after Easter/Passover and 10 days after Memorial Day,” Jenkins said in a tweet. “Should we see an increase in cases from this weekend, it could be the spring before we can get those numbers back down…”

287 New Cases, 11 More Deaths In Tarrant County

There are 287 new COVID-19 cases in Tarrant County today, bringing the cumulative, countywide total of confirmed cases to 42,798.

Health officials are also reporting 11 more deaths related to the virus, eight of the individuals had underlying high-risk health conditions. In total, 576 county residents with the virus have died.

Collin County Adds 121 New Cases & 2 More Deaths

There are 121 new COVID-19 cases in Collin County today and two additional residents have died.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 11,424, including 117 deaths. According to state health data, 10,704 county residents have recovered from the disease.

Denton County Reports 74 New Cases

Denton county is reporting 74 new COVID-19 cases today, increasing the cumulative, countywide total to 10,588 confirmed cases, including 101 deaths related to the virus.

According to county health officials, 8,752 residents have recovered from the disease.

Friday, Sept. 4

8 More Deaths, 195 Additional Cases In Dallas County

Dallas County health officials report 195 additional confirmed cases COVID-19 and eight more deaths related to the disease.

That brings the total confirmed case count in the county to 73,055, including 943 confirmed deaths.

Of the 195 new cases reported today, 89 came through the state’s reporting system that’s been experiencing a backlog. Those 89 cases should have been reported as follows:

June: 2 Cases

July: 28 Cases

August: 56 Cases

September: 2 Cases

In a statement, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins expressed praise for county residents in helping achieve the downward trending case count, but cautioned against putting safety measures aside for the upcoming holiday weekend.

“This is our last three-day weekend of the summer and it’s imperative to what happens for the next six months that we all use good judgement, wear our masks, maintain six foot distance, wash our hands frequently and avoid large crowds for this three-day weekend,” Jenkins said. “If collectively people make good decisions for the Labor Day weekend like they did for the 4th of July, and we don’t see a spike, we’ll be in a very good position going into the fall. If it’s a repeat of Memorial Day, we’ll see our numbers climb dramatically in the next two weeks and it’ll take months to get us back to where we are now.”

Tarrant County Reports 214 New Cases

There are 214 new COVID-19 cases in Tarrant County today. This increases the cumulative number of confirmed cases countywide to 42,511, including 565 deaths.

92 New Cases In Denton County

Denton County is reporting 92 new cases today, increasing the cumulative, countywide total to 10,514 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 101 deaths.

The county will have a free drive-through COVID-19 testing center in Denton Friday, Sept. 11 for essential workers and anyone over 60, plus anyone who’s had symptoms or has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19. Pre-registration is required, call 940-349-2585.

Collin County Reports 108 New Cases

There are 108 new COVID-19 cases in Collin County today. That brings the cumulative, countywide total of confirmed cases to 11,306, including 115 deaths related to the disease.

Dallas County DA Investigates Dallas Police’s Treatment Of Protesters

The Dallas County District Attorney is investigating whether police used excessive force and wrongfully arrested peaceful protesters during demonstrations in May.

John Creuzot has contacted several demonstrators and their lawyers in response to a Dallas Morning News story and photograph published in August.

The story documented a Dallas police sergeant firing pepper balls into a woman’s chest at close range.

The woman and the Morning News photographer were arrested, even though they said they didn't break any laws.

Creuzot said he'll look into the matter further after the police department completes its own inquiry into the incidents.

Some Texas Colleges See Spikes In Cases

As schools reopen across Texas, some colleges and universities are seeing spikes in COVID-19 cases.

Houston Chronicle reporter Brittany Britto told public radio's Texas Standard both Texas A&M and Baylor have reported more than 700 cases each. Other schools also have seen upticks in cases.

"Prairie View has 57 since move in date, 21 cases in the first two days of September alone,” Britto said. “ Sam Houston State University numbers keep changing, but they've had 90 cases within the last two weeks, and also about 20 within the first two days of September."

Britto said colleges and universities are trying to find ways to encourage more social distancing and following of COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Gov. Abbott’s Thoughts On Opening Texas Further

Texas Tribune co-founder Ross Ramsey told Texas Standard the governor's watching three things before deciding whether to open the state further,

"One of them is the school openings,” Ramsey said. “One of them is the hurricane season — you know when you're distributing people for evacuations, and things like we did for Hurricane Laura. When you're moving people out of nursing homes, which have been hotspots, into shelters, all of that kind of stuff — that can spurn the disease. The governor also said that he's worried about the Labor Day weekend, because the Memorial Day weekend was such a spreading event."

Ramsey said state government officials are considering how to lift some of the COVID-19 restrictions while avoiding a surge in cases.

3 New Cases Of West Nile Virus In Dallas County

Dallas County has reported three new cases of West Nile Virus.

One patient in Dallas has West Nile Fever. Two other Dallas residents have the more serious neuro-invasive form of the disease.

Health officials urge you to reduce the risk of West Nile by clearing all standing water around your home or business. Also, use insect repellent with DEET and cover exposed skin, especially at dusk and dawn.

Thursday, Sept. 3

Dallas County Reports 250 New Cases, 8 Deaths

Another 250 cases raises the total to 72,860. Of the 250 new cases today, 122 came through the state’s electronic reporting system that has experienced a backlog.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said while the trends in the county are looking good, the eight deaths today show “we are not where we need to be in our battle with COVID-19.”

“The trends in Dallas County have been going well, and as a result, the color-coded risk chart moved for the first time from ‘Red’ high-risk to ‘Orange’ moderate-risk; however, as you can see from the eight deaths today and the numbers of new cases that we’ve seen this week, we are not where we need to be in our battle with COVID-19.”

The eight additional deaths today include:

  • A Duncanville man in his 50s.
  • Two Dallas men in their 50s.
  • A Dallas woman in her 60s.
  • A Garland man in his 60s.
  • A Lancaster woman in her 70s.
  • A Garland woman in her 80s.
  • A Dallas man in his 80s.

82 Additional Cases In Denton County

There are 82 new cases in the area, bringing the total to 10,422. There have been 103 newly-recovered cases of the virus, raising the countywide recovery total to 8,513.

Denton County Public Health is providing a free drive-thru COVID-19 testing center on Friday, September 4 at University of North Texas’ Discovery Park at 3940 N. Elm Street.

Pre-registration is required and appointments are available starting at 8 a.m. Eligible community members are those who have had symptoms of COVID-19 within the past seven days, essential employees, individuals 60 years and older, as well as individuals who have had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. All community members must call to pre-register for testing at 940-349-2585.

Tarrant County Reports 227 New Cases

Another 227 additional cases in the area raises the total to 42,297. Two deaths were reported today of a Fort Worth woman in her 80s and a Fort Worth man in his 60s. Both patients had underlying health conditions.

The county announced its school data dashboard that will be updated each Monday.

“The new dashboard, along with our existing education guidance, is designed to help our school leadership and parents understand their local COVID-19 infection rates so they can make the best decisions for their children,” said Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja. “Right now, the health status of many of the school zones has improved to a point where a hybrid learning model may be appropriate.”

79 New Cases In Collin County

An additional 79 cases brings the total to 11,198. There have been 114 deaths and 10,573 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.

Dallas County To Open Free Housing Facility For COVID-19 Patients

Dallas County Health Services will open a free housing facility where residents with mild cases of COVID-19 can quarantine.

It's for county residents who live outside Dallas proper. The complex is meant to prevent people from spreading the virus to others in their household.

Applications are open now on Dallas County’s website.

Dallas ISD To Restart Athletic Programs

The Dallas school district has announced a phased-in approach to re-starting athletics.

The decision affects varsity football, cross country, team tennis, golf, swimming and volleyball teams.

Varsity teams can begin practice September 8, sub-varsity on the 14. Marching band, cheerleading and drill team can resume practices September 21.

Wednesday, Sept. 2

Dallas County Reports 358 New Cases

Another 358 cases have been reported today, raising the total to 72,610. Of the 358 new cases reported today, 207 came through the state’s electronic reporting system that has been experiencing a backlog.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said although the county has lowered its COVID-19 risk level, local officials are still asking that residents take precautions and avoid large gatherings of 10 or more people. He said the county wants to avoid a Labor Day weekend spike similar to the one that followed the Memorial Day holiday:

“This is especially important to remember as we head into Labor Day weekend and our last big holiday weekend of the summer. We saw a very significant increase in cases and hospitalizations following the Memorial Day holiday. It’s taken us three months to recover from that spike.”

The seven deaths reported today include:

  • A Dallas man in his 50s.
  • A Dallas man in his 60s.
  • A Dallas woman in her 60s.
  • A Dallas woman in her 70s.
  • A Lancaster woman in her 70s.
  • A Richardson man in his 80s.
  • A DeSoto woman in her 90s.

Collin County Reports 65 New Cases

There are 65 additional cases, increasing the total to 11,119. In the area, there have been 114 deaths and 10,505 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.

101 New Cases In Denton County

An additional 101 cases in the area brings the total to 10,340. The county also reported 169 newly-recovered cases, increasing the countywide recovery total to 8,410.

Denton County Public Health is providing a free drive-thru COVID-19 testing center on Friday, September 4 at University of North Texas’ Discovery Park at 3940 N. Elm Street.

Pre-registration is required and appointments are available starting at 8 a.m. Eligible community members are those who have had symptoms of COVID-19 within the past seven days, essential employees, individuals 60 years and older, as well as individuals who have had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. All community members must call to pre-register for testing at 940-349-2585.

Tarrant County Reports 210 New Cases

There are 210 additional cases in the county, raising the total to 42,070. There have been 560 deaths and 36,472 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.

Dallas County Lowers COVID-19 Risk Level

The Dallas County Health and Human Services announced on Wednesday that it has lowered its COVID-19 risk level.

The risk level lowered from red, “stay home, stay safe” to orange, “extreme caution.”

COVID-19 case numbers in Dallas County have been decreasing in recent weeks.

Judge Clay Jenkins says the county is now in the orange risk level, so residents are advised to take extreme caution:

"...under orange, healthy people under the age of 65 can dine in at restaurants if the tables are spaced more than six feet apart, and the staff and patrons are taking the appropriate precautions, which means the staff is masked, and that people who are not eating are masked..."

Residents can also consider expanding their shopping beyond essential items; and attending smaller events, and religious services, with fewer than 10 people.

Residents are advised to visit barbershops and salons with less than 25% occupancy.

Still, the DCHHS cautioned that residents should continue following precautions like social distancing and wearing masks.

As McKinney ISD Students Return To School, Buses Present A New Challenge

Students in the McKinney school district return to campus tomorrow.

Many will get there on the bus, but a news release from the district says the volume of riders will make social distancing on the buses impossible.

The Dallas Morning News reports McKinney ISD's asking students to maintain social distancing at bus stops and when loading and unloading the buses.

Everyone riding the bus has to wear a mask, and the district's also added new bus cleaning protocols between routes.

The district said parents with significant concerns about social distancing may want to consider other transportation options.

Tuesday, Sept. 1

Dallas County Reports 19 Deaths, 622 New Cases

There are 622 additional cases, bringing the total to 72,252. Of the 622 new cases reported today, 461 came through the state’s electronic reporting system that has been experiencing a backlog.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said today marks the “highest number of new COVID-19 positive cases that we’ve seen in some time”, but he cautioned residents not to overreact to the number. He said many of the cases today include cases from the state’s backlog:

“Today we are experiencing our highest number of new COVID-19 positive cases that we’ve seen in some time. I caution the public not to overreact to this one day number.

It includes many cases from the State’s electronic laboratory reporting system for this month and those cases may have been botched from several days, making today a higher number. We can look at these numbers over the new few days to see if there’s any sort of a trend upward.”

The nineteen deaths reported today include:

  • A Dallas man in his 40s
  • A Dallas man in his 50s
  • A Garland woman in her 60s
  • Two Dallas men in their 60s
  • Two Garland men in their 60s
  • A Mesquite woman in her 60s
  • A Garland man in his 70s
  • A Dallas man in his 70s
  • A Dallas woman in her 70s
  • Two Garland women in their 70s
  • Two Dallas men in their 70s
  • A Dallas woman in her 70s
  • A Dallas man in his 80s
  • A Dallas woman in her 80s
  • A Dallas woman in her 90s

Denton County Reports 114 New Cases, 1 Death

There are 114 new cases in the area, bringing the total to 10,239. An additional death was reported today of a man over 80 who resided at Brookhaven Nursing and Rehabilitation in Carrollton, bringing the total deaths to 101.

Another 182 newly-recovered cases increases the countywide recovery total to 8,241.

4 Deaths, 243 Cases In Tarrant County

Four deaths were reported today, bringing the total deaths to 556.

The deaths today include: two women in their 80s from Arlington and Lake Worth, an Arlington woman in her 70s and an Arlington man in his 40s. All of the patients had underlying health conditions.

The county also reported 243 new cases, raising the total to 41,860.

Collin County Reports 65 Additional Cases

There are 65 new cases in the area, raising the total to 11,054. A total of 114 people have died and 10,432 people have recovered from the virus in the county.

Fort Worth To Offer Second Round Of Funding For Small Businesses.

Fort Worth has plans to distribute a second round of funding for small businesses in the city.

Fort Worth has about $9 million left in CARES Act funding for businesses. So the city’s accepting another round of applications in early September, although the exact date has not been finalized.

Earlier this summer, the City of Fort Worth and United Way of Tarrant County launched a grant program to distribute CARES Act funding to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials said the first round of the Preserve the Fort grants provided more than $6 million to 842 businesses across Fort Worth.

Funding criteria has expanded for the second round – nonprofits are eligible to apply, including local performance art venues, as well as businesses with up to 500 employees.

Bars and music venues forced to close as of late June are eligible for grants, too.

More information about applications can be found at fortworthtexas.gov.

American Airlines Will Eliminate Its Change Fee

American Airlines is eliminating a $200 change fee on all but its cheapest tickets.

The Dallas Morning News reports the Fort Worth-based carrier suspended the fee earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting January 1, basic economy tickets will be subject to a change fee to switch flights. But those in first class, business and main economy will not.

The change lets customers keep the full value of their ticket if they want to cancel a flight and apply it toward another ticket.

If the new ticket is cheaper, American said it will issue a voucher for the difference.

Monday, Aug. 31

Dallas County Reports 460 New Cases

There are 460 additional cases, raising the total to 71,630. One additional death of a Dallas man in his 50s was reported today. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said “trends are going in the right direction”, though he urged all residents to continue taking precautions:

“The trends are going in the right direction but we must continue to be diligent about mask wearing, social distancing, hand-washing and avoiding unnecessary trips and indoor places where masks cannot be or are not being worn one hundred percent of the time.”

Of the 460 new cases reported today, 235 came through the state’s electronic reporting system which has been experiencing a backlog.

131 New Cases In Denton County

Another 131 cases in the area brings the total to 10,125. There have been 193 newly-recovered cases, increasing the countywide recovery total to 8,059.

Denton County Public Health is providing a free drive-thru COVID-19 testing center on Friday, September 4 at University of North Texas’ Discovery Park at 3940 N. Elm Street.

Pre-registration is required and appointments are available starting at 8 a.m. Eligible community members are those who have had symptoms of COVID-19 within the past seven days, essential employees, individuals 60 years and older, as well as individuals who have had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. All community members must call to pre-register for testing at 940-349-2585.

Collin County Reports 43 New Cases

There are 43 additional cases in the area, bringing the total to 10,989. There have been 112 deaths and 10,377 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.

131 New Cases In Tarrant County

An additional 131 cases increases the total to 41,617. There have been 552 deaths and 35,975 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.

Three Keller ISD Staff Members Test Positive

Three fifth-grade staff members at Indian Springs Middle school in Keller ISD have tested positive for COVID-19.

As a result, KXAS-TV reports that all fifth grade students and staffers who had been involved with in-person instruction are moving to online-only learning for two weeks.

The district says the campus was sanitized and disinfected over the weekend.

Keller ISD began in-person and virtual classes last week.

A district dashboard shows a total of 11 active cases of COVID-19 across Keller ISD, including seven students at various schools.

City Of Dallas Creates COVID-19 Data Challenge

The City of Dallas' Office of Innovation is partnering with different groups for a competition focused on analyzing COVID-19 data.

The COVID-19 Data Challenge is open to students who live in the Dallas–Fort Worth area who are in grades 6 through 12.

The city of Dallas has teamed up with Dallas County, Dallas schools and a healthcare analytics nonprofit to host the competition. The goal of the challenge is to help young people assess and analyze COVID-19 data.

Selected students will work on a data project using real COVID-19 data from Dallas County. Almost 3,000 young people under the age of 18 have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since July 1 in Dallas County.

The deadline to join is Thursday, September 3 and the challenge runs from September 8 through the 21. The winners will be announced in October.

Potential Class-Action Suit Against Federal Medical Prison Staff

Seventy-three women held at the federal medical prison in Fort Worth have signed onto a potential class-action suit against the prison, warden and several officers.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports testimony included in the suit from women at FMC Carswell describe rotten food, negligent medical care and malicious treatment.

A response from the Bureau of Prisons said its care and treatment of inmates follows CDC guidelines “with regard to quarantine and isolation procedures, along with providing appropriate treatment.”

Five women held at the prison have died from COVID-19.

Sunday, Aug. 30

Dallas County Reports 360 New Cases

There are 360 additional cases in the area, raising the total to 71,170. Of the 360 cases reported today, 241 came through the state’s electronic reporting system that has been experiencing a backlog.

An additional death was reported today of a Dallas woman in her 70s. She had been critically ill in the hospital and had underlying health conditions.

57 New Cases In Collin County

There are 57 additional cases, increasing the total to 10,946. There have been 111 deaths and 10,309 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.

Tarrant County Reports 214 Cases, 2 Deaths

Another 214 cases brings the total to 41,486. There have been 552 deaths and 35,794 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.

Two additional deaths were reported today, including a Euless man in his 70s and an Arlington man in his 60s.

Read More: A Timeline Of COVID-19's Spread In North Texas

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