COVID-19 In DFW April 5-11: Dallas Schools Unlikely To Reopen This Spring
This week, Dallas ISD announced it's unlikely schools will reopen this spring, and Texas State Troopers began screening travelers from Louisiana.
Get the latest news from our COVID-19 Live Updates page.
Saturday, April 11
3 More Deaths And 20 New Cases In Denton County
Three more people in Denton have died from COVID-19 bringing the total number of deaths in the county to 13.
The three individuals were residents of the Denton Rehabilitation Center in the City of Denton. One was a woman over 80, one was a woman in her 60s and the third was a man who was over 80.
Denton County Public Health (DCPH) officials say they’ve worked closely with the facility since the first COVID-19 cases were identified among residents and one employee. The first residents to test positive for the disease cases were transported to the hospital for care upon exhibiting symptoms and the employee is under self-isolation at their residence, according to officials.
“DCPH is taking the unprecedented step of announcing the name of the facility to ensure transparency for the public in light of today’s deaths,” Dr. Matt Richardson, director of Denton County Public Health, said in a statement. “We have been communicating with the more than 100 facilities across Denton County to ensure they have the necessary resources for the safety of their residents and staff.”
DCPH is also reporting 20 additional cases of COVID-19 in Denton County. This increases the countywide total to 474 confirmed cases.
Collin County Reports 18 New Cases
There are 18 new COVID-19 cases in Collin County as of 4 p.m. Saturday, bringing the total number of cases in the county to 441.
According to the county’s website 226 people have successfully recovered from the disease, 26 are hospitalized and 182 are in home isolation.
Dallas County Reports 107 New COVID-19 Cases, 2 More Deaths
Dallas County is reporting 107 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the county to 1,644.
County officials are also reporting two additional deaths: a Garland man in his 60s and a Grand Prairie man in his 70s. Both had additional underlying health conditions, according to a statement. There have now been 27 deaths related to the disease in the county.
Officials say 69% of hospitalizations due to the disease have been for people who are either over 60 years of age or have had at least one known high-risk chronic health condition. Diabetes has been an underlying high-risk health condition reported in about a third of all those hospitalized.
Tarrant County Reports 4 More COVID-19 Deaths
Four more people in Tarrant County have died from COVID-19, according to county health officials.
The deceased include three Fort Worth residents, a man in his 60s, a man in his 70s and a wom in her late 40s, and a Sansom Park man in his 80s. Officials say they all had underlying health conditions.
Tarrant County now has 25 confirmed deaths from the COVID-19 virus. According to officials, 90 people have recovered. The total number of confirmed cases in the county is 787.
Gov. Abbott Eases Regulations On Physicians-In-Training
Gov. Greg Abbott is waiving some regulations related to restrictions on physicians-in-training permits, allowing staff to work in areas outside of their training program with proper oversight.
For example, under these temporary waivers, a person in a surgery residency program can assist in an Emergency Department if there’s a surge of patients.
Abbott said the waivers will increase the availability of medically trained individuals to help assist with the COVID-19 response.
"These temporary waivers will expand the staffing capacity of our hospitals and medical facilities, ensuring Texans will have access to the care needed during the response to COVID-19," he said in a statement.
City Of Dallas Resident Resource Guide
The city of Dallas is making a number of resources available to residents and businesses impacted by the emergency regulations in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. The guide, available in English and Spanish, includes information on:
- Rental assistance
- Filing for unemployment
- Connecting displaced workers to jobs
- Food assistance
- Help paying utilities (though most utility disconnections have been halted during this time)
- Mental health resources
- Business loan information
More Than 13% Of Texas Nursing Homes Have At Least 1 Resident With Coronavirus
About 13% of nursing homes in Texas have at least one case. State officials are not naming the facilities.
The Texas Tribune reports that at least 320 residents and staff members at nursing facilities have tested positive.
Tribune reporter Edgar Walters told public radio's Texas Standard that the number is likely an undercount — in part due to pushback from nursing homes across the state.
"The explanation that they give is that they don't wanna reveal any confidential medical information,” Walters said. “As far as the decision not to name particular facilities, I think that's a little bit more sensitive, I think they are listening perhaps to nursing home administrators who are worried about the consequences."
In Texas, at least 38 nursing home residents and staff members have died of COVID-19.
Hospital Occupancy In City Of Dallas, Tarrant County Around 50%
More than half of the hospital beds within the city of Dallas are occupied – and about 60% of intensive care unit beds are occupied. About one-third of ventilators are currently in use. That’s based on data from hospitals submitted to the city.
Here are the hospitalization numbers Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson's office released for Friday, as reported by the 24 hospitals:
- Total beds: 5,329 | Beds occupied: 2,861
- Total ICU beds: 781 | ICU beds occupied: 479
- Total ventilators: 899 | Ventilators in use: 288
The numbers are similar in Tarrant County. About half of the hospital beds throughout Tarrant are occupied and about one-quarter of ventilators are in use.
Friday, April 10
Denton County Announces 28 New Cases, 10th Death
Denton County Public Health announced the 10th COVID-19 related death and 28 new cases in the county, bringing the total case count to 454. Another resident at the Denton State Supported Living Center and a Denton County Jail inmate both tested positive.
The patient who died was a Lewisville man in his 60s who was previously reported hospitalized and was a travel-related case.
The county also announced one Denton County Jail inmate who tested positive for COVID-19. The press release said the Denton County Sheriff’s Office and Denton County Public Health are working to minimize exposure within the correctional facility, including placing the individual who tested positive in isolation.
“Sheriff Tracy Murphree and his team have implemented a thorough plan to address COVID-19 in the jail and I fully support the careful measures they have taken to ensure the health and safety of everyone in our jail facilities,” Denton County Judge Andy Eads said.
The total number of residents who tested positive for COVID-19 at the Denton State Supported Living Center increased by one to 51.
“With over 100 long term care facilities in Denton County, DCPH continues to coordinate with facilities directly impacted by concerns of COVID-19,” said Dr. Matt Richardson, Director of DCPH. “Protecting and preserving the health of their residents and staff, through provision of guidance to facilities affected, remains a priority for DCPH.”
Collin County Reports 7th COVID-19 Death Of McKinney Man
A 90-year-old McKinney man with COVID-19 died this morning, according to Collin County Health Care Services. The man had underlying health conditions.
The county reported 19 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total case count to 425.
Dallas County Reports 105 New Cases, 3 Additional Deaths
Dallas County Health and Human Services is reporting 105 additional cases of COVID-19 today, bringing the total number of cases in the county to 1,537.
Health officials also report that three additional people have died from the disease, including a woman in her 90s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in the city of Dallas, and two men in their 80s who also lived in the city. Their deaths bring the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in the county to 25.
Dallas Community-Based Testing Sites Closed Sunday
The city of Dallas has announced that both community-based testing sites will be closed Sunday in observance of Easter. The two sites, located at American Airlines Center and Ellis Davis Field House, will be closed Sunday, April 12.
In a statement, city officials said testing will resume on Monday, April 13 at 8 a.m.
Tarrant County Reports 21st COVID-19 Death
Tarrant County Public Health is reporting that a Lakeside man in his 80s has died as a result of COVID-19. Officials say the man had underlying health conditions.
Tarrant County now has 21 confirmed deaths from COVID-19. A statement from the county says 90 people have recovered from the virus.
North Texas Food Bank Drive-Through Pantry To Return To UNT Dallas
North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) is bringing its disaster relief food truck back to the UNT Dallas campus Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon.
The free, drive-through grocery service is available to all community members. NTFB says safety precautions have been established to limit any physical interaction with those handling and loading the boxes of food. The truck will be parked in Lot 2 (to the right of the main entrance).
Many Parks Across Texas Closed For Easter Weekend
Several cities and counties have decided to close parks this weekend to fend off Easter holiday overcrowding, including the city of Dallas. Texas is doing the same — closing all state parks and historical sites until further notice.
All parks in Dallas will close at 9 p.m. tonight for the weekend Several officials will monitor the parks, including park rangers, police, and code enforcement workers.
"We've already seen an increase in the use of our parks now that the weather's gotten better, and that gyms are closed, and that our stay-at-home orders are in effect, and people are trying to find a place to go to get some exercise and some fresh air,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said at a press conference Thursday. “We figured that we'd see considerably more people in our parks this weekend."
City officials say digital message boards at the parks will warn people about the closures. Trails remain open, though officials say people should follow social distancing guidelines. Parks will reopen Monday morning.
Fort Worth is closing vehicle access to many of its parks on Sunday. Texas did not give a date for when state parks will reopen.
Dallas County Inmates Sue Over Conditions
The Dallas Morning News reports nine Dallas County jail inmates plan to sue over alleged unsafe conditions at the facility because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The lawsuit seeks release of all inmates older than 50, as well as those with underlying health conditions that could make them more vulnerable to COVID-19.
The inmates also want to guarantee the jail ensures inmates can maintain social distancing, and that they have access to supplies, such as soap and face masks, to prevent spread of the virus.
There have been 29 inmates at the Dallas County Jail and two detention officers have tested positive for the virus.
Dallas Schools Change How Grades Are Calculated Due To Pandemic Closures
Because of the switch to online learning during the coronavirus outbreak, the Dallas school district's changing how it will calculate grades for students this semester.
The Dallas Morning News reports the changes amount to a pass/fail system.
Grade averages and class rankings for high school students will be based on the first semester’s averages.
Dallas ISD will use numeric grades for the current semester but only to determine whether a student gets credit for a course or gets promoted to the next grade.
Thursday, April 9
Dallas County Commissioners Approve $1 Million In Contracts For Pop-Up Hospital
Dallas County Commissioners on Thursday approved nearly $1 million in contracts to help the county provide wrap-around services at a pop-up hospital in the works for people recovering from COVID-19. That would include security, food, laboratory and transportation services.
The 250-bed facility is located at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas, but it's not housing patients yet.
One contract is with the engineering firm AECOM, which has helped set up temporary hospitals in other cities. Another contract is with the Olson Group, an emergency management firm.
Dallas Mayor Creates Economic Recovery Task Force
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson on Thursday announced he's forming a task force focused on economic recovery from COVID-19.
He picked Richard W. Fisher to lead the group. Fisher's the former President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
In a statement, Fisher said that until COVID-19, Dallas had been leading the nation in job creation, and that the city is well-positioned to lead the country in economic recovery.
The mayor said the task force is aimed at exploring solutions that are beyond the scope of city government.
Collin County Reports 6th Death, 28 New Cases
Collin County Public Health reported its sixth death and 28 new cases, bringing the total case count to 406.
The sixth death was a 53-year-old Dallas man who died Wednesday in a local hospital. He suffered from underlying health conditions.
Denton County Announces Two Additional Deaths, 28 New Cases
Denton County Public Health announced two more deaths and 28 additional COVID-19 cases, bringing the total case count in the county to 426.
The eighth death was a female resident of Lewisville in her 50s and the ninth death was a male resident of Lewisville in his 70s. Both were previously reported hospitalized with cases of community spread.
Dallas County Reports 108 Additional Cases, 2 More Deaths
Dallas County Health and Human Services is reporting 108 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the county to 1,432.
The agency is also reporting two additional deaths from the disease. One person was a long-term care facility resident in his 80s who had been in hospice care, the other was a DeSoto man in his 70s who had been hospitalized.
There have now been 22 deaths from the disease in the county.
Officials report of cases requiring hospitalization, about three-quarters (70%) have been either over 60 years of age or have had at least one known high-risk chronic health condition. They say diabetes has been reported in over a quarter (29%) of all hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
Tarrant County Confirms Another COVID-19 Death
Tarrant County Public Health is reporting that a Fort Worth woman in her 69s has died from COVID-19. According to a statement from county health officials, the woman had underlying health conditions.
Tarrant County now has a total of 20 confirmed deaths from the virus. Officials say 61 people have recovered from the disease.
8th Dallas Police Officer Tests Positive For COVID-19
The Dallas Police Department is confirming that another officer has tested positive for COVID-19. According to a statement from the department, the officer worked in the property room at DPD headquarters, and their last day on the job was March 24.
Officials said the employee was tested for COVID-19 on April 4 and received the test results yesterday.
The officer will remain home for 14 days or more until cleared to return to duty by the department’s medical team medical team. DPD said those who may have come in contact with the officer have consulted with the department’s medical team, and the specific area where the officer worked was sprayed and sanitized by a professional contactor on Tuesday.
This is the 8th officer confirmed to have contracted the virus.
Salvation Army of North Texas Offers Drive-Through Groceries, Financial Assistance
The Salvation Army of North Texas is offering drive-through grocery pick up and financial assistance for families in need.
The organization has 13 drive-through grocery pick up locations in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis and Tarrant counties. It is also providing financial assistance to help families pay rent or mortgage payments, maintain utility service and purchase prescription medicines.
Texas Tops 10,000 Cases
As of Thursday morning the number of COVID-19 cases in texas reached over 10,000, and at least 193 people in the state have died from the virus.
Over 2,600 cases of the disease have been confirmed in North Texas and at least 51 people in the area have died from the disease.
There have been over 400,000 cases reported across the U.S.
Possible COVID-19 Death In Texas Prison
A 72-year-old has become the first Texas prison inmate reported as a possible COVID-19 death.
Bartolo Infante died Tuesday at the Telford Unit. The criminal justice department yesterday said he suffered from numerous pre-existing medical conditions and was hospitalized under isolation in Texarkana for viral pneumonia after testing positive for COVID-19.
Four Telford Unit employees have tested positive for the illness and are under self-quarantine, while seven offenders have been confirmed as infected.
The Telford Unit is under medical restriction, and 15 state prisons in all have been locked down after inmates or staff tested positive for COVID-19.
A 49-year-old state corrections officer died Monday after testing positive for COVID-19 while hospitalized for a heart condition.
Legal Fight Continues Over Texas’ Pandemic Abortion Ban
A legal fight continues over whether to allow abortions during the coronavirus pandemic.
Planned Parenthood and other clinics yesterday told a judge they're now only seeking to allow abortions in some cases after a federal appeals court sided with the state's ability to ban abortions during the outbreak.
Texas bans most abortions after 20 weeks.
Similar legal fights are being waged in Alabama, Ohio, Oklahoma and Iowa.
Governor Abbott, HHS Announce Federal Approval Of Emergency SNAP Benefits
Wednesday, the governor announced federal approval of $168 million in emergency SNAP benefits to support Texans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Texas Health and Human Services Commission received federal approval to provide the maximum allowable amount of SNAP benefits to recipients based on family size.
The emergency allotments are authorized for April and May and will affect all SNAP recipients in the state.
Beneficiaries will see the additional amount on their Lone Star Cards by April 15 for this month's benefits. May's benefits will be available by May 15.
Arts Grantmakers Launch National COVID-19 Relief Fund
A national coalition of arts funders have launched a $10 million fund to help artists struggling financially during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Applicants must be 21 years or older and have lived in the U.S. for the past two years or more.
Wednesday, April 8
Collin County Reports Fifth Death, 36 New Cases
Collin County Health Care Services (CCHCS) on Wednesday reported the county's fifth coronavirus-related death. The patient was an 80-year-old McKinney woman. Officials said her official cause of death was attributed to an underlying medical condition, and COVID-19 was not included as the cause.
The county also reported 36 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total case count to 378.
Federal Government Extends Support Of COVID-19 Community Testing Sites In Dallas
The COVID-19 community-based testing sites will continue to be supported by the federal government through May 30. There will be no changes to the current process.
Initially, the sites were to be supported through April 10. The city and Dallas County were then expected to take over operations.
"I am immensely pleased to hear that the federal government will continue to support drive-through testing," Mayor Eric Johnson said. "Our two Community Based Testing Sites have been crucial assets for the City of Dallas and the region as we work together to battle the COVID-19 pandemic."
Both of the testing sites at the American Airlines Center and the Ellis Davis Field House will continue to follow the federal testing limit of 250 tests per day, per site.
The testing criteria will also remain the same: shortness of breath, a cough and a temperature of 99.6 degrees or higher.
Denton County Reports 32 New Cases
Denton County Public Health announced 32 additional cases of COVID-19, increasing the total case count in the county to 398.
At the Denton State Supported Living Center, a facility for people with severe disabilities, the total number of staff who tested positive has increased to 47, while the total number of residents who tested positive remains at 50.
Dallas County Reports 63 Additional Cases, 1 Additional Death
Dallas County Health is reporting 63 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total case count in the county to 1,324. Officials are also reporting the 20th death from COVID-19 in the county. The patient was a Rowlett man in his 60s who had been critically ill in a local hospital and had underlying high-risk health conditions, officials said.
“Of COVID-19cases requiring hospitalization, about three-quarters (70%) have been either over 60 years of age or have had at least one known high-risk chronic health condition,” a statement from county health officials said. “Diabetes has been an underlying high-risk health condition reported in over a quarter (29%) of all hospitalized patients with COVID-19.”
The county also released race and ethnic background information for residents who have died from the virus. Of the 20 people who have died, eight were white, six were Hispanic and one was black.
We now have more details about the 20 #COVID19 fatalities in Dallas County.— Mayor Eric Johnson (@Johnson4Dallas) April 8, 2020
13 of the deaths were people who were age 65 or older.
All these deaths are tragic. Tracking this data will be important as we fight this pandemic.
Tarrant County Public Health Confirms 19th COVID-19 Death
Tarrant County Public Health is reporting that a Euless man in his 30s has died as the result of the COVID-19 virus. Officials say he had underlying health conditions.
Tarrant County has now seen a total of 19 confirmed deaths from the COVID-19 virus, officials say 53 people have recovered. Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja is strongly urging all residents to engage only in essential activities; stay home as much as possible; and maintain social distancing.
U.S. Company That Makes Baseball Gloves Pivots To Surgical Masks
The lone U.S, manufacturer of baseball gloves is shifting during the pandemic to making surgical masks.
Glove-maker Nokona’s executive vice president Rob Storey said the company did so out of concern for its 75 workers.
We’ve always tried to adapt and do whatever we could to help keep the doors open and keep the employees going,” he said. “That’s kinda where we’re at right now."
Nokona makes most of its gloves by hand, so Storey said the company can handle the change.
"We feel like we’ve got some of the best sewers in the world back here,” he said. “It’ll take a day or two for them to adjust but they seem to be growing to it quickly."
Storey expects to donate some of the masks and sell the rest. He hopes that will leave other masks for hospital use.
Tarrant County Extends Stay-At-Home Order Through April
Tarrant County has extended its Stay-At-Home order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 until April 30.
Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja says community spread is responsible for about half the total number of cases in the county.
"It's kind of like what happens with the flu,” Taneja said. You go out, you come home, you've got the flu, you don't know where you got it. So, it's that kind of a situation that makes us believe there's substantial community spread happening."
Taneja says travel is a major source of transmission too — but not as big a hazard as community spread.
Meanwhile, Tarrant County officials say they feel good about the number of available hospital beds and ventilators in the county.
Commissioner Roy Brooks says the county has plans to open additional facilities to increase the number of available beds if necessary, but he urges the community to continue sheltering in place, social distancing, and leaving home only for essential errands.
"Our case counts are increasing geometrically by the day. Our death counts are increasing at an alarming rate,”Brooks said. “We have not peaked yet."
Both Tarrant and Dallas counties have extended their stay-at-home orders through April 30th.
2 State Prisons On Lockdown Due To Coronavirus
Two Texas prisons have been locked down to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The prison system says about 2,100 inmates at the Rufe Jordan Unit in the Texas Panhandle and Dr. Lane Murray Unit in Central Texas have been confined to their cells on medical restrictions.
Dallas County Commissioners Discuss Plans For Pop-Up Hospital
The fate of the pop-up hospital at the convention center in downtown Dallas came into question this week after the Governor's office said it could be moved elsewhere because Dallas County has yet to house any patients there.
Yesterday, Dallas County Commissioners explored ideas for using the facility with engineering firm AECOM who has helped set up temporary COVID-19 hospitals in other cities.
"Once the hospitals start seeing more cases, this will be the overflow,” said Commissioner Elba Garcia. “It's not a hospital, It's an overflow facility."
County commissioners could vote on a contract with AECOM this week.
Tuesday, April 7
Collin County Announces 37 New Cases
The total case count rose to 343 after the county announced 37 additional positive cases, according to Collin County Public Health.
There have been four confirmed deaths related to COVID-19 in the county and there are currently 435 people who are being monitored.
Dallas County Commissioners Limit County Judge’s Authority On Stay-At-Home Order
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins will now have to earn a majority vote from Dallas County Commissioners before extending an order for residents to shelter in place. Dallas County’s current stay-at-home order is set to expire April 30.
Commissioners voted Tuesday in support of an amendment that limits Jenkins’ emergency authority as the county responds to the evolving coronavirus pandemic. Under the measure, Jenkins cannot place any further restrictions on essential businesses without first notifying county commissioners and giving them enough time to call an emergency meeting if they wish to do so.
District 3 Commissioner John Wiley Price questioned Jenkins’ rationale for deeming certain businesses essential over others. District 1 Commissioner Theresa Daniel said she understood the need to take precautions for public health reasons, but Daniels said commissioners should be included more in emergency decisions.
“We also are hearing mightily from people all across our districts talking about, how does this impact them as a family with kids, with jobs that they have been laid off from, from businesses that are seeing that within the next 30 days, they’re going to be gone, if not sooner?” Daniel said.
As county judge, Jenkins serves as the emergency manager for Dallas County. He spoke about the need for quick decision making as officials try to stay ahead of the coronavirus outbreak.
“We’re just not going to be able to get things done if we stop and have a two or three hour meeting every day on things like whether or not people should solicit at your home or not,” Jenkins said.
Texas Health And Human Services Is Hiring At State Supported Living Centers
Hundreds of positions at state supported living centers and state hospitals are now open, according to the Texas Health and Human Services. Texas HHS is looking to hire psychiatrists, nurses, psychiatric nurse assistants and direct care support staff.
“People who want to make a difference and help others will find a meaningful career with Texas HHS,” said Mike Maples, HHS Deputy Executive Commissioner for the Health and Specialty Care System. “This is an opportunity to be on the front lines of changing lives and giving back to your communities, your state and your fellow Texans.”
A cluster of coronavirus cases were found at the Denton State Supported Living Center, where 50 residents and 42 staff have tested positive.
Denton County Reports 29 New Cases
Denton County Public Health reported 29 new cases of COVID-19, raising the total case count in the county to 366.
The total number of residents at the Denton State Supported Living Center who tested positive remains at 50 and the number of staff remains at 43.
Dallas County Announces 106 Additional Cases, New Ethnicity Breakdown
Dallas County Health and Human Services reported 106 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total case count in the county to 1,261.
The county also announced the 19th COVID-19 related death -- a man in his 50s who lived in Garland. He was found dead in his home and had underlying high-risk health conditions.
For the first time, the county included the ethnic breakdown of reported cases: 24% Hispanic, 20% White, 19% African-American, 2% Asian and 1% other. But more than one-third of cases in the county do not include details regarding race or ethnicity.
.@DCHHS provided a breakdown this morning of confirmed #COVID19 cases in Dallas County by race/ethnicity, with the caveat that race hasn’t been reported for many cases at this time:— Syeda Hasan (@syedareports) April 7, 2020
• 19% African American
• 24% Hispanic
• 2% Asian
• 20% White
• 1% other
• 35% not reported
Food Bank Employee Tests Positive For COVID-19
An employee at the North Texas Food Bank has tested positive for coronavirus. In a statement released today, the food bank says the employee worked on the transportation team in Plano and has been self-quarantined since March 27. They say the individual came into contact with a limited number of third parties, which the food bank is notifying.
The North Texas Food Bank is still open and fully operational as it follows all CDC guidelines regarding cleaning and sanitizing, they said.
5 More Deaths Reported in Tarrant County
Tarrant County Public Health is reportingfive more residents have died due to COVID-19 — two from Fort Worth, one from River Oaks, one from Grand Prairie and one from Haltom City. The county's total number of positive cases is 452.
The patients' ages ranged from 47 to 88, and all were hospitalized locally.
State Parks, Historic Sites Close Temporarily
Those parks and sites will close at 5 p.m. April 7. The statement made by the governor did not indicate a time at which these places will reopen.
Monday, April 6
Dallas ISD Schools ‘Unlikely’ To Reopen This Spring
It's unlikely that schools in Dallas ISD will open before the end of the school year, according to superintendent Michael Hinojosa.
“We have not hit the peak yet, and of course we're further behind than some of these other states,” Hinojosa told reporters Monday. “To me, the likelihood that we'll have regular school this school year is very doubtful. That's why we're making contingency plans. We've already cancelled just about everything in April.”
He said a final decision will be made soon.
Online learning continues in Dallas ISD. Hinojosa says DISD expects to get at least $50 million from the federal stimulus package. Some of that is expected to help pay for costs associated with at-home learning. Funding will also help pay for cleaning costs, meal service and mental health services.
Denton County Announces 33 New Cases
Denton County Public Health announced 33 new laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total case count in the county to 337.
The total number of residents confirmed with COVID-19 at Denton State Supported Living Center remains at 50. DSSLC staff totals have increased to 43 after four new staff members tested positive.
Tarrant County Confirms Two Additional Deaths
Two more people have died due to COVID-19, according to Tarrant County Public Health.
One patient was a Fort Worth resident in his 60s and the other was an Arlington resident in his 40s. The county now has 13 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths.
Collin County Reports 4th Death
A 93-year-old McKinney woman was the fourth COVID-19 related death in the county.
According to Collin County Health Care Services, she died late Sunday evening. While her official cause of death was unrelated to COVID-19, she was known to have tested positive.
The county previously announced 287 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Dallas County Reports 43 Additional Cases
Dallas County Health and Human Services is reporting 43 more positive cases of COVID-19. The total number is now 1,155.
According to the county, about 71% of cases requiring hospitalization have been either over age 60 or have had at least one known high-risk chronic health condition. Diabetes has been an underlying health condition reported in about 28% of all hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says Monday’s case count is “encouraging,” but that he cautioned reading too much into the numbers since several private labs were closed Sunday. But he says local hospital systems are seeing evidence that the stay-at-home order is working to flatten the curve. He encourages people to continue staying at home. But he says those who go out should continue to stay at a safe distance from others and to wear cloth coverings.
Pop-Up Hospital In Dallas Could Be Moved, Governor Warns
Gov. Greg Abbott's office has warned Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins the state would move a pop-up hospital being readied in Dallas if he doesn't plan to use it to treat COVID-19 patients.
Abbott's office was informed Jenkins wasn't intending to utilize the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center for hospital use, The Dallas Morning News reported. At a press conference Sunday, Jenkins called the message "crazy."
He said hospitals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are at about 50% capacity, so there's no need yet to divert sick residents from those facilities to the convention center. However, Jenkins said the county probably will need the pop-up hospital in another week.
Texas National Guard Help Distribute Food At North Texas Food Bank
The Texas National Guard were on hand in Plano this weekend helping hand out food at the North Texas Food Bank. Gov. Greg Abbott recently mobilized the guard specifically to help supporting local organizations.
Starting Sunday, more than 250 members of the guard will be supporting the effort of the North Texas Food Bank. According to a press release, the food bank’s mobile pantry has experienced increased demand because of the pandemic. Normal distributions served an average of 300 households. Recent distributions have grown from 1,000 to almost 2,000 households.
Sunday, April 5
Texas Troopers Begin Screening Travelers From Louisiana
Texas state troopers are now screening travelers coming into the state from Louisiana in accordance with an executive order issued by Gov. Greg Abbott. Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Stephanie told KDFM-TV that troopers began stopping vehicles on Interstate 10 near Orange in southeast Texas and requiring travelers to complete a travel form called for in Abbott's order. The screening comes as state health officials on Sunday reported at least 6,669 cases and 118 COVID-19 deaths in Texas. --Associated Press
Denton County Announces Seventh Death And 16 New Cases
Denton County Public Health announced that a patient, a male resident of a nursing facility in Lewisville in his 90s, has become the county's seventh COVID-19 related death. It was a locally transmitted case.
There are also 16 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 today, bringing the countywide total to 304 cases. On Saturday, there were 15 new cases reported and a total of six deaths.
The total cases reported at the Denton State Supported Living Center for residents remains at 50, but the number of infected staff has increased to 39.
'Neighbors Helping Neighbors' Virtual Food Drive Launches To Meet Skyrocketing Need
The stop-down of public life is fueling hunger across the region, and North Texas' biggest food resource for hungry families needs increased monetary donations.
The bank is assembling 25-pound packages of canned and fresh food items and distributing them at "low-touch" drive-through locations. NTFB has said that lines at their mobile pantry have more than tripled since this pandemic began.
"There are people for the first time in their lives that are experiencing hunger," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said at his live-streamed COVID-19 briefing on Sunday, where he promoted the food drive.
He said that approved federal assistance for families "won't be arriving in time for some" and that "there are families running out of food."
He stressed that kids at home mean families are going through more food than they were before the pandemic.
North Texas Food Bank services all 13 North Texas counties.
Jenkins also said at the briefing that he's working to get the additional approved federal assistance loaded into families' Lone Star accounts, a card that families use to spend SNAP and WIC benefits.
"Texas is the only state that has not successfully loaded that on their cards," he said. "We hope to get that done very soon."
Good morning, y’all.
@GovAbbott where are you on loading the SNAP and WIC benefits from the emergency stimulus as required by law?
How bout my request to waive Texas licensure on out of state respiratory therapist? Or my request for appraisal cap? https://t.co/z3PclqYwdK
— Clay Jenkins (@JudgeClayJ) April 5, 2020
Dallas County Adds 97 New Positive Cases
The new cases brings its total to 1,112 as of 10 a.m. today, Dallas County Health and Human Services reports. Yesterday's count was 1,015. No new deaths were reported.
Of all cases requiring hospitalization:
• About 71% have been either over 60 years old or have had at least one known high-risk health condition.
• 28% have had diabetes as an underlying health condition reported.
Dr. Philip Huang, Director of Dallas County Health and Human Services, said at a briefing today that there are "some concerning things happening" at congregate-setting homes — nursing homes and psychiatric facilities, for instance.
He said the jail has 24 cases, which inclues 22 inmates and two detention offiers.
Also, a reminder from Dallas County HHS:
Wearing a mask is NOT a substitute for staying home & following the personal hygiene guidelines like frequent hand washing. Do not think that you can now do non-essential activities because you are wearing a mask. #StayHomeStaySafe https://t.co/WaVwX5geNM
— Dallas County HHS (@DCHHS) April 4, 2020
Tarrant County Reports 2 More Deaths
Tarrant now has a total of 11 confirmed deaths from the COVID-19 virus, Tarrant County Public Health confirmed today.
• An elderly female resident of Heartis Arlington, an assisted living and memory care home, died after testing positive for COVID-19. She had been hospitalized since becoming ill.
• An elderly adult male from Fort Worth also died in a local hospital. He had underlying health conditions.
Public health staff believe both patients contracted the virus through community transmission.