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COVID-19 In DFW Aug. 23-29: Counties See A Gradual Decline In Case Numbers

Wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Megan Steckly, CEO of Com-U-Dot, checks a driver in a line of cars as they wait to receive a computer.
LM Otero
/
Associated Press

Despite the additional cases from the Texas DSHS' reported backlog, counties say their case numbers are trending downward.

Get the latest news from our COVID-19 Live Updates page.

Saturday, Aug. 29

Tarrant County Reports 13 New Deaths, 237 Cases

Thirteen deaths were reported in the area, bringing the total to 550 deaths. All but five of the patients who died had underlying health conditions.

They include a Richland Hills man in his 90s, two Arlington women in their 80s, three Fort Worth men in their 70s, an Arlington woman in her 70s, a Keller man in his 60s, an Arlington woman in her 60s, a Fort Worth man in his 50s.

There are 237 additional cases in the area, bringing the total to 41,272.

77 New Cases In Collin County

There are 77 additional cases in the area, raising the total to 10,889 cases. There have been 111 total deaths and 10,220 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.

Dallas County Reports 434 New Cases

There are 434 additional cases in the area, raising the total to 70,810 cases. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said if everyone continues to take precautions, the city will “continue to see gains”:

“It is hot out there and masks can be inconvenient but it is imperative that we all wear our mask, maintain six foot distance, frequently wash our hands, avoid unnecessary trips and avoid any activity where you are indoors or around others and everyone cannot wear their mask one hundred percent of the time. If we continue doing this, we’ll continue to see gains, we’ll have less sickness and death, more businesses will stay open and our kids can get back to school sooner rather than later.”

Two new deaths have been reported today:

  • A Dallas woman in her 60s.
  • An Irving woman in her 70s.

Of the 434 new cases, 65 came through the state’s electronic reporting system, which has been experiencing a backlog.

119 New Cases In Denton County

Another 119 cases have been reported, bringing the total to 9,994. There have been 130 newly-recovered cases, increasing the countywide recovery total to 7,866.

A free drive-thru testing center at Westside Baptist Church, 900 Bellaire Blvd, will be open on September 1. 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.

Pre-registration is required and appointments are available starting at 8 a.m. All community members must call to pre-register for testing at 940-349-2585.

Friday, Aug. 28

Texas Bar Owners Plan To Reopen In Protest Of Shutdown

Still frustrated with the Governor's order that closed bars to control the spread of COVID-19, bar owners in Texas plan to permanently reopen in protest on Saturday.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the effort's being led by Chris Polone, owner of the Rail Club Live in Fort Worth.

The "Come and Take It" protest starts at 6 p.m. Saturday evening and about 1,000 bars are expected to participate.

Palone said bars will follow strict safety guidelines, taking temperatures before customers enter, maintaining social distancing, requiring face coverings and providing hand sanitizer.

Dallas County Reports 276 New Cases, 3 More COVID-Related Deaths

Dallas County is reporting 276 new cases today and three additional deaths, bringing the total confirmed case count in the county to 70,376, including 898 confirmed deaths.

“Yesterday we went above 70,000 Dallas County residents who’ve contracted COVID-19 to date,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement. “But there are reasons for optimism, as our hospitalizations and other metrics are trending downward.

Of the 276 new cases we are reporting today, 18 came through the state’s electronic reporting system, which has been experiencing a backlog. All are from the month of June.

5 More Deaths, 258 New Cases In Tarrant County

There are five new coronavirus-related deaths in Tarrant County today. Those who died are described as four men from Arlington in their 90s, 80s, 70s and 40s respectively, and a woman from Fort Worth in her 50s. All had underlying health conditions.

Tarrant County is reporting 258 new cases today. The county has had a cumulative total of 41,035 COVID-19 cases, including 537 confirmed deaths.

Denton County Reports 130 New Cases

Denton County has 130 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 today. Only 60 of those cases are active cases.

This increases the cumulative, countywide total to 9,875 confirmed cases, including 100 deaths related to the virus. According to county health data, 7,737 residents have recovered from the disease.

Collin County Has 27 New Cases; Reports 4 More Deaths

Collin County is reporting 27 new COVID-19 cases today, including four more deaths.

There have been a total of 10,812 confirmed cases in the county, including 110 virus-related deaths.

According to state data, there are 503 active cases in the county and 10,174 residents have recovered.

Dallas County Reopens Emergency Housing Assistance Program

Dallas County Health and Human Services has reopened the Emergency Housing Assistance Program again.

It provides short-term, rental, mortgage and utility assistance to Dallas County residents who live outside the city of Dallas and who also face economic hardship in the wake of COVID-19.

Pre-screening applications are online at dallascounty.org/ehap.

Fort Worth Will Launch Second Round Of Business Grants

Fort Worth will soon launch a second round of "Preserve the Fort" business grants with nearly $9 million dollars left from CARES Act funding.

The city expanded the grants to include nonprofits, local performance art venues and businesses with as many as 500 employees.

Smaller for-profit businesses and self-employed individuals can still apply.

The application process is expected to begin sometime next month. No word yet on an exact date.

Thursday, Aug. 27

Dallas County Cases Continue To Trend Downward

There are 219 new COVID-19 cases and five more deaths in Dallas County today. That brings the total confirmed case count in the county to 70,100, including 895 confirmed deaths.

Of the 219 new cases we are reporting today, 59 came through the state’s reporting system that’s been experiencing a backlog. The majority are from the months of June and July:

June: 18 cases

July: 36 cases

August: 5 Cases

“Today’s new COVID-19 positive numbers continue a trend of lower cases,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement. “ If we keep our resolve for focusing on the community good, to keep not only ourselves but our community healthy, less people will get sick, more businesses will stay open so our neighbors will keep their jobs, and our kids can get back to school sooner rather than later.”

Tarrant Reports 9 More Deaths, 247 New Cases

Tarrant County is reporting nine more coronavirus-related deaths and 247 new cases today.

The county now has 40,777 cumulative cases, including 532 confirmed deaths from the virus, 34,116 people have recovered.

Denton County Death Toll Rises To 100

Two more Denton County residents with COVID-19 have died, bringing the total to 100 deaths in the county due to the virus.

“As we grieve our 99th and 100th passing of community members, we want to emphasize both the severity of COVID-19 deaths and the obvious value of prevention,” Denton County Public Health Director Dr. Matt Richardson said in a statement. “Masks and physical distancing are a commitment to caring for others — a minor sacrifice when lives are at stake.”

There are 201 new cases of COVID-19 in the county today. This increases the cumulative, countywide total to 9,745 confirmed cases.

Collin County Reports No New Cases

The Collin County COVID-19 dashboard indicates there are no new cases of the virus in the county today.

There have been a total of 10,570 cases countywide, including 106 deaths.

Baylor Researchers Begin Human Trials For A Vaccine

Researchers at Baylor University Medical Center have begun human trials on a vaccine for COVID-19.

Dr. Mezgebe Berhe is the lead researcher with the North Texas Infectious Disease Consultants. He said if human trials go well, the vaccine could get FDA approval by the end of the year.

“Vaccines are our best tools to fight a virus,” he said. “Really. We can talk about antiviral medications and, you know, prevention and so on. But vaccines are the best way to mobilize an immune response to prevent viral infections.”

Berhe said before they can seek FDA approval, the study needs more volunteers — specifically minorities and frontline workers, like grocery store employees or first responders.

State Fair Of Texas Gives North Texans An Opportunity To Try Fair Food

This year's State Fair of Texas has been canceled because of the pandemic, but you'll still be able to get a taste of it .

The Dallas Morning News reports the Big Tex Fair Food Drive-Thru will allow smaller groups of people in cars to pick up a Fletcher’s corny dog and other fair foods and enjoy them either in a designated parking lot or in a picnic with social distancing.

The Drive-Thru will take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between September 25 and October 18.

The exception is Saturday, October 10 — OU-Texas game day.

Positive Cases At Texas Christian University Double

After moving back to campus just last week, the number of Texas Christian University students who've tested positive for COVID-19 has more than doubled since Monday.

The Dallas Morning News reports that as of yesterday, the school reported 257 active cases - up from 111 cases TCU reported Monday.

Nearly all the positive cases are students, only two are faculty members.

Most student cases, about 150, came from those living in off-campus housing. The rest were from students living on campus.

Of the nine largest universities in North Texas, TCU has reported the most significant spread of the virus.

Wednesday, Aug. 26

Due To State Backlog Dallas Reports 578 New Cases

Dallas County is reporting 578 new cases today and nine more deaths. That brings the county’s total cumulative confirmed case count to 69,881, including 890 deaths.

Of the 578 new cases reported today, 424 came from the state’s reporting system that’s been experiencing a backlog. The majority are from April and May:

March: 6 cases

April: 116 cases

May: 271 cases

June: 31 cases

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said despite the issues with the state’s data, hospitalizations and other factors indicate that cases are trending downward in the county.

199 New Cases, 5 Additional Deaths In Tarrant County

There are 199 new COVID-19 cases and five more deaths in Tarrant County today. There have been a total of 40,530 confirmed cases in the county, including 524 deaths.

138 New COVID-19 Cases in Denton County

There are 138 new cases of COVID-19 in Denton County today. This increases the cumulative, countywide total to 9,544 cases, including 98 deaths.

Denton County Public Health will have free drive-thru COVID-19 testing Friday at the University of North Texas’ Discovery Park at 3940 N. Elm Street. Anyone who’s had symptoms of COVID-19 within the past seven days, essential employees, people 60 and older, as well as people who have had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 can get tested.

Pre-registration is required. Call 940-349-2585 to set up an appointment.

No New Cases In Collin County

There were no new COVID-19 cases in Collin County today.

The county has confirmed a total of 10,474 cases throughout the pandemic, including 105 deaths.

New Study On Virus Immunity By UT Southwestern And Texas Health Resources

Researchers at UT Southwestern and Texas Health Resources are collaborating on a study trying to figure out where COVID-19 is spreading in North Texas.

The initiative's partially funded by the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth.

Its second year will explore if having COVID-19 once makes you immune and for how long.

Brandon Bennett is Fort Worth's health director.

"They'll also look to see, at what point does somebody, if somebody, becomes positive a second time,” he said. “And that's very critical data for both public health, for people returning to work, and for frontline workers."

Researchers want to start by testing more than 40,000 people for current and past COVID-19 infection and giving them a survey.

In Texas, The Lowest-Income Workers Don’t Qualify For Additional Unemployment Aid

Mark Saltillo was juggling.

It was Sunday night and his 9-year-old son was hungry, so Saltillo started on dinner while preparing for the first day of his last semester at El Paso Community College — at least he hopes it's his last.

Money has been tight. There are electricity bills, groceries and $650 per month for rent. Books and school courses also cost money, which hasn’t been coming in like it had before August.

The 42-year-old full-time student, who hopes to get a job in counseling or social work,has been jobless since the coronavirus pandemic upended businesses in El Paso, and his part-time work checking tickets at local events dried up.

“I’m supposed to start school tomorrow,” Saltillo said Sunday night. “I’m just 12 credits away from graduating. But I'm already thinking about quitting so I could find a job full time or taking out some more student loans to have that extra money.”

Because Saltillo worked part-time jobs, the Texas Workforce Commission’s formula for determining unemployment benefit payments calculated that he receive $69 per week, the minimum amount available to Texans. It was no problem for Saltillo, though, after Congress passed sweeping legislation in March that included an extra $600 per week for anyone receiving unemployment benefits.

“I was OK with that once I found out they were giving everyone 600 bucks,” Saltillo said. “That was fine, it worked out great.”

He rode a 4.0 grade-point average into his summer classes, received $600 each week, on top of the $69, and was a step closer to December graduation.

But when July ended, so did the $600 checks. The legislation expired, and Saltillo was left receiving $69 a week.

Read the full story by The Texas Tribune.

Tuesday, Aug. 25

Dallas Reports 217 New Cases, 24 More Deaths; But Cases Trending Downward

There are 217 new cases in Dallas County today and none of them are associated with the state’s reporting backlog. The county is also reporting 24 additional deaths, including two men in their 30s, one without underlying health conditions.

“We are seeing a continuing good trend in lowering numbers of infections and hospitalizations,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said. “We must not lose our resolve to do the things that have caused that turn in the right direction….”

Today’s report brings the total confirmed case count in Dallas County to 69,303, including 881 confirmed deaths.

Tarrant County Cases Trending Downward

Tarrant County on Tuesday reported 411 new cases of COVID-19. That brings the countywide total to 40,331 cases.

Officials also announced four deaths. A total of 519 people have died countywide.

Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Tineja told county commissioners on Tuesday that the case numbers can vary day-to-day, but the overall positivity rate is trending downward.

“Today we don't see any trouble spots in Tarrant county, this is directly from the ERs, people seeking healthcare for COVID-like illness is down, so that's good news,” Tineja said. “The seven day moving average is trending down as well.”

Meanwhile, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley has extended the county’s mask mandate until November 30th.

And commissioners voted to extend the county's COVID-related disaster declaration through the end of November.

5 COVID-19 Deaths, 171 New Cases In Denton County

Five additional Denton County residents with COVID-19 have died, bringing the total to 98 deaths due to the virus countywide.

County health officials are also reporting 171 new cases today. This increases the cumulative, countywide total to 9,406.

“Of the 171 new cases reported today, only 94 are active COVID-19 cases,” Dr. Matt Richardson, Director of Denton County Public Health, said in a statement. “This is likely reflective of the completion of case investigations for the backlog of cases reported by DSHS, resulting in many confirmed cases who have already recovered due to the reporting delay.”

Collin County Reports 23 New Cases

Collin County reported 23 new cases today, after not updating their COVID-19 dashboard since Aug. 20.

Today’s report brings the total cumulative number of cases countywide to 10,474, including 105 deaths.

Dow Jones Industrial Average Kicks Out Irving-Based Exxon Mobil

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has decided to kick out Irving-based oil giant Exxon Mobil.

The Dallas Morning News reports the decision's part of the Dow's biggest reshuffling in seven years.

Pfizer and Raytheon Technologies also were dropped. Salesforce.com, Amgen Incorporated and Honeywell International will enter the Dow next week.

Dropping Exxon Mobil reflects the steady decline of commodity companies in the American economy.

Worth more than $450 billion as recently 2014, the worth of the company's stock has fallen in four of six years before 2020 — and is down another 40% so far this year.

American Airlines Plans 19,000 Furloughs, Layoffs In October

American Airlines said Tuesday it will eliminate 19,000 jobs in October as it struggles with a sharp downturn in travel because of the pandemic.

Flight attendants will bear the heaviest cuts, with 8,100 losing their jobs.

The furloughs and management layoffs announced Tuesday are in addition to 23,500 employees who accepted buyouts, retired early or took long-term leaves of absence. Fort Worth-based American began the year with about 140,000 employees but expects fewer than 100,000 to remain in October.

Read the full story from the Associated Press.

Time Extended For Businesses To Apply To South Dallas Fair Park Opportunity Fund

The city of Dallas is giving organizations more time to file applications for a program designed to improve South Dallas and Fair Park. Groups now have until September 4 to submit proposals for funding for the South Dallas Fair Park Opportunity Fund.

The Fund provides loans and grants to support business in the neighborhoods surrounding Fair Park, with an emphasis on economic development, and human development initiatives. A maximum of $100,000 will be awarded to fund the projects and services.

Previous projects supported by the program include the Park South Family YMCA and St. Philip's School and Community Center.

The city of Dallas’ Office of Economic Development will hold virtual meetings for those interested in applying. Meetings will be held Tuesday night and Thursday night, as well as next week.

Collin County CARES Small Business Grant Program Approved

Collin County Commissioners have approved creation of the Collin CARES Small Business Grant Program.

The initiative will provide as much as $25,000 dollars for companies who've lost more than 15% of their gross revenue because of the pandemic.

Commissioners voted to set aside $15 million in U.S. CARES Act funding for the grants. Plus, $30 million earmarked for housing assistance and $5 million for local food pantries.

Online applications will be accepted until September 25.

The program excludes those businesses within the City of Dallas.

Monday, Aug. 24

Dallas County Adds 182 Additional Cases

Dallas County Health and Human Services reports 182 additional cases today, with no additional deaths reported.

Of the 182 additional cases, the county said 84 are from a state backlog of previously reported cases from March through May:

• March — 18• April — 43• May — 23

Dallas County's total case number is now 69,086, and the death total is 857.

Tarrant County Adds 109 New Cases

Tarrant County reports 109 new cases today, bringing its accumulative total to 39,920. No additional deaths were reported as of 5:20 p.m., keeping the death total at 515.

Denton County Reports 140 New Cases

Denton County Public Health announced 140 new cases today, which increases the cumulative total — current, recovered and deaths since reporting began — to 9,235.

Denton County residents can go to a free drive-through testing center this Friday at University of North Texas' Discovery Park, 3940 N. Elm Street in Denton. Pre-registration is required by calling 940-349-2585. Appointments are available starting at 8 a.m. Testing is available to people who have had symptoms of COVID-19 within the past seven days, essential employees, people age 60 or over and people who have had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

Bubble Fatigue Cited As Mental Challenge During NHL Playoffs

The hotels might be posh, their amenities and service first rate, and yet life inside the National Hockey League's two playoff bubbles isn’t exactly glamorous.

Having spent nearly a month cooped up at the tunnel-connected hotel-arena complex in Edmonton, Alberta, Rick Bowness acknowledged there’s times he’s had to coax himself to step outside to bask in the sun and breathe in some fresh, nonfiltered air.

“If people think living in a bubble is great, it’s tough. It’s mentally tough. And everyone’s making the best of it,” the Stars interim coach said after Dallas advanced to the second round with Game 6 victory over Calgary last week.

“It’s not your typical playoffs. It’s not, where, OK, you play, you jump in your car and you go home or whatever. It’s none of that. It’s play, go back to your room,” Bowness said, beginning to laugh. “This isn’t as easy as you think it is.”

Bowness emphasized he wasn’t complaining, but simply noting the challenges that come with the NHL’s most unusual playoffs, which haven’t yet reached the halfway mark in a bid to award the Stanley Cup by early October — or sooner.

“Listen,” he said. “Until you live in this, you have no idea what we’re doing, what we’re going through.”

The potential for NHL bubble fatigue is real. The close confines, daily COVID-19 testing, lack of freedom to venture beyond the security fences surrounding hotels and arenas in Edmonton and Toronto, and the separation from loved ones can weigh heavily on everyone.

Read more of this Associated Press story.

American Airlines Center May Become A Polling Place

The Mavericks and the Dallas County Elections Department are working together to turn the American Airlines Center into an "election super center."

The Dallas Morning News reports that if an agreement is reached, American Airlines Center would transform the venue space to accommodate voting as a part of the Election Super Center Project.

Several NBA, NFL and NHL arenas in other cities could follow suit.

The project is a nonpartisan, joint initiative between the National Vote at Home Institute and the Silver Linings Group.

It's expected to improve poll access for over 1 million people nationwide.

TEA To Give Out More Than 1 Million Tech Devices To Texas Students

The Texas Education Agency has announced it's procured more than a million personal devices and WiFi hotspots to distribute to public school students in the state.

Operation Connectivity aims to help close the connectivity gap among students across the state, as many are returning to school online because of COVID-19.

The initiative began in Dallas to address the lack of high-speed internet and home computers for Dallas-ISD students. A survey found that about one-third of district households don't have internet access.

The federal CARES Act contributed $200 million — matched by schools across Texas — that will be used to help pay for the new equipment.

Buying the computer and hotspots in bulk will save districts anywhere from 20% to 40% of the standard retail price for devices.

Officials say that since March, roughly $900 million has been spent toward closing the connectivity gap among public school students across Texas.

Longhorns Football Just A Few Weeks Away

The Texas Longhorns are still scheduled to play football against UT-El Paso in a few weeks.

Texas senior defensive lineman Ta’Quon Graham said face shields in his helmet and other COVID-19 safety measures have allowed him to push aside concerns of getting the virus.

“There’s no fear. People aren’t worried about getting COVID or having something over our mouths," Graham said. "We’re all good and we’re just pushing forward.”

Texas still plans to play in front of fans next month — though at just 25% capacity at DKR Texas Memorial Stadium.

Sunday, Aug. 23

Tarrant County Reports 212 New Cases, 10 Deaths

Tarrant County Public Health is reporting 212 confirmed cases and 10 deaths.

The victims include four men in their 80s -- one from North Richland Hills, two from Arlington, one from White Settlement -- a Fort Worth man in his 60s, an Arlington man in his 60s, an Arlington man in his 50s, a Fort Worth woman in her 50s, and a Fort Worth man in his 20s.

Dallas County Reports 332 New Cases, 2 Deaths

Dallas County is reporting 332 confirmed cases and 2 deaths.

Ninety-three of the 332 cases are from that state reporting system and are from April, May and June.

The deaths include a Grand Prairie man in his 60s with underlying conditions and a Mesquite man in his 70s who also had underlying conditions.

Collin County Reports 2 Deaths

Collin County is reporting two deaths but no new cases of COVID-19.

The county has reported a total of 10,451 cases, and the death toll is reported to be 104.

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

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