Get live updates throughout the day on how COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, is affecting North Texas.
>>COVID-19 By The Numbers:
- In Texas: More than 146,000 cases and more than 2,300 deaths have been reported. More than 78,000 Texans have recovered.
- In North Texas: Cases in Dallas County: 19,595; Tarrant County: 11,476; Collin County: 2,671; Denton County: 2,630. There have been at least 644 reported deaths in the region's four largest counties.
- Counties across Texas: Use The Texas Newsroom's interactive maps.
- Global: See Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 dashboard.
393 New Cases In Tarrant County
There are 393 new cases in Tarrant County today, according to data released by county health officials. This brings the countywide confirmed case count to 11,476, including 225 deaths.
Early Voting Begins Monday
Early voting for the July 14 primary runoffs begins Monday.
Among the ballot items: A Democratic runoff between Dallas state Senator Royce West and retired Air Force pilot MJ Hegar to take on Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. John Cornyn.
Voters will decide 15 U.S. House runoffs — including former Dallas congressman Pete Sessions' attempt to return to Congress from a new district. He faces Waco businesswoman Renee Swann.
There are also 14 Texas House runoffs.
The primaries were originally scheduled for May, but the Governor delayed them until July, and extended the early voting period, because of coronavirus.
Early voting runs from Monday to July 10.
More on what you need to know about early voting from The Texas Tribune.
Forecasters Say Without Increased Mitigation Efforts, Dallas County's Daily Cases Could Double In July
As Texas continues to see an uptick in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia says the state has “lost control” of the pandemic.
PolicyLab forecasters say if mitigation efforts don't change, Dallas County could see roughly a thousand daily new coronavirus cases by mid-July — that's more than double the current daily case count.
Recently, the county's seen record numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations. In Harris County — which includes Houston — the weekly average of new hospitalizations has quadrupled since mid-May.
PolicyLab director Dr. David Rubin is concerned about how quickly the epidemic is progressing, saying it could quickly overwhelm local healthcare systems.
Just this week, Texas Children's Hospital announced it'll admit adult COVID-19 patients after a surge of hospitalizations in the Houston area.
Counties have been passing mask requirements, but Rubin said it may be too late to slow the spread of coronavirus through masks alone.
He said states with elevated risk like Texas need to take more aggressive steps to curb transmission.
Texas Reinstates Safety Rules For Child Care Centers As Cases Mount
As COVID-19 cases rise precipitously, Texas is reinstating safety mandates for child care centers that had been repealed in mid-June.
The newest emergency rules, published Thursday, include requiring child care centers to check temperatures of staff and students each day, have parents drop students off outside and not serve family style meals. State health officials said the immediate adoption of the rules was necessary to prevent "imminent peril to the public health, safety, and welfare of the state."
For the first time, state officials are also mandating that child care centers comply with the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, which advises child care providers to consider a number of social distancing and screening methods. - The Texas Tribune
EU Narrows Down Border List, US Unlikely To Make The Cut
European Union envoys are close to finalizing a list of countries whose citizens will be allowed to enter Europe again, possibly from late next week, EU diplomats confirmed Saturday. Americans are almost certain to be excluded in the short term due to the number of U.S. coronavirus cases.
The envoys were expected to have narrowed down later Saturday the exact criteria for countries to make the list, which include the way the spread of the virus is being managed. Another key condition is whether the country has a ban on citizens from European nations.
The number of cases in the United States has surged over the past week, with an all-time high of 45,300 confirmed new daily infections just reached. President Donald Trump also suspended the entry of all people from Europe’s ID check-free travel zone in a decree in March. — The Associated Press
- What should I know about coronavirus? Get information from the CDC.
- What's been happening locally, statewide and nationally? Check out special coverage from NPR, PBS and the public radio stations in The Texas Newsroom: KERA for North Texas (including quick daily updates below); KUT in Austin; Houston Public Media; Texas Public Radio in San Antonio; and Marfa Public Radio.
- How can I help others or find help for my family? The KERA Helps Tool connects you to funds, nonprofits, agencies and organizations working to help people in need.
- How's coronavirus affecting North Texans on the financial edge? Take an in-depth look at our new series, "One Crisis Away: Coronavirus And Life On The Financial Edge."
Dallas County Reports 561 New Cases, 7 Deaths
Dallas County Health and Human Services reports Saturday a new high number of positive cases — 561. Seven deaths are also reported. They are:
- An Irving man in his 40s. He had been critically ill in an area hospital and had underlying high risk health conditions.
- A Dallas man in his 50s who had been critically ill in an area hospital and did not have underlying high risk health conditions.
- A Dallas man in his 50s who had been critically ill in an area hospital and had underlying high risk health conditions.
- A Dallas man in his 70s who had been critically ill in an area hospital but did not have underlying high risk health conditions.
- A Farmers Branch woman in her 70s who had been critically ill in an area hospital and had underlying high risk health conditions.
- An Irving man in his 80s who was a resident of a long-term care facility. He had been critically ill in an area hospital and had underlying high risk health conditions.
- A Seagoville woman in her 90s who was a resident of a long-term care facility. She had been critically ill in an area hospital and had underlying high risk health conditions.
Here are the bed and ventilator capacity statistics as reported by 25 hospitals in the @CityOfDallas:
Total beds: 6083
Beds occupied: 4301 (71%)
Total ICU beds: 942
ICU beds occupied: 700 (74%)
Total ventilators: 959
Ventilators in use: 341 (36%)
— Mayor Eric Johnson (@Johnson4Dallas) June 27, 2020
Tarrant County Reports 377 New Cases
Tarrant County Public Health is reporting 377 new cases and two COVID-19-related deaths.
The deceased include a Haltom City man in his 30s and a Saginaw man in his 50s. It’s not known if either had underlying health conditions.
Collin County Reports 139 New Cases, 1 Death
Collin County Public Health is reporting 139 new cases on Saturday and one death.
Public health authorities reported the death of a 91-year-old Plano woman Friday afternoon, hospitalized with underlying health conditions and COVID-19. She was a resident of resident of Arbor Hills Memory Care in Plano.
Denton County Reports 49 New Cases
Denton County Public Health reports Saturday 49 new cases of COVID-19. This increases the countywide total to 2,630.
Gov. Abbott Closes Bars & Wineries
The windows of the bar The Nines in Deep Ellum remain boarded up. They’ve been like this since the start of the pandemic.
Even when bars across the state of Texas reopened five weeks ago, The Nines’ owner Allen Falkner said he left them up because he expected another shutdown.
“I knew this was going to happen and I’m glad I did,” he said.
On Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered bars that receive 50% of their income from alcohol sales to close. This move comes after Abbott stopped the state’s reopening amid surging cases of COVID-19.
Falkner said even though he expected another shutdown, he didn’t think it would happen so soon.
“As a business owner, it’s frustrating. Especially since we had zero warning,” he said. “We got a big liquor order this week. A week's notice, a couple weeks' notice sure would have been nice.”
The governor’s order is also affecting local wineries.
Tarrant County Announces 343 New Cases, 4 Deaths
Another 343 cases brings the countywide total to 10,706. All four patients who died had underlying health conditions including: a Fort Worth man in his 40s, a Fort Worth man in his 70s, a Fort Worth woman in her 60s and an Arlington man in his 60s.
87 New Cases In Denton County
There are 87 more cases in the county, bringing the countywide total to 2,581. Three newly-recovered cases of COVID-19 have also been reported - that raises the countywide number of recoveries to 1,100.
Federal Government Extends COVID-19 Testing Support For City Of Dallas
Governor Abbott announced on Friday that federal support for COVID-19 testing in Dallas will continue beyond June.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have helped supply 2,000 daily tests for the city.
While federal support was set to end in June, the extension will provide two additional weeks of support. Local, state and federal officials will remain in close contact to consider testing needs beyond the 14-day extension.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said he was “heartened” and “relieved” by the news.
“Federal testing support has been critical to our response to this pandemic," Johnson said. "Our ability to identify and isolate COVID-19 cases is especially important as we have seen our numbers move in the wrong direction. I want to thank Secretary Alex Azar, Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, members of our Congressional delegation, and Governor Abbott for their advocacy on this vitally important matter."
Adjustments will be made to Dallas testing sites. While the American Airlines Center is still set to close after June 30, the Ellis Davis Field House drive-through site will double its testing capacity to 1,000 tests a day. A new site will also open July 1 at the University of Dallas in Irving, which will have the capacity to distribute 500 tests a day.
Dallas COVID-19 Health and Healthcare Access Czar Dr. Kelvin Baggett has also been working to open Neighborhood Testing Centers. Two sites are now available at Paul Quinn College and Sam Tasby Middle School in Vickery Meadow.
Dallas County Reports Record-Breaking 496 New Cases, 10 Deaths
A new daily high of 496 cases in the county brings the total case count to 19,034. More than half of cases since June 1 have been patients between the ages of 18 and 39. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement that he thinks Gov. Abbott's new mitigation efforts are a good step forward, but more needs to be done.
“I’m pleased that the Governor agreed with local leaders and healthcare leaders to close bars and issue some common sense requirements at the state level to curb crowd size and help slow the progression,” he said. “In order to have our best chance to slow the second wave, much more is needed at the state level, including the restoration of the powers of local leaders that were taken on May 1st.”
Jenkins also urged Dallas residents to take precautions and prevent the spread of the virus going into the July 4 holiday weekend.
“This country and this community has been through a lot together and if we stick together, showing grace towards one another by wearing our masks and making good decisions for ourselves, our families and our employees, we will get through this and will keep our economy moving and our residents safe,” he said. “But, it takes all of us, particularly as we look at coming into a major holiday weekend in eight days,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.”
Ten more deaths were reported today:
- A man in his 50s who was a resident of the City of Irving. He had been critically ill in an area hospital, and had underlying high risk health conditions.
- A woman in her 50s who was a resident of the City of Garland. She had been critically ill in an area hospital, and had underlying high risk health conditions.
- A man in his 60s who was a resident of the City of Irving. He had been critically ill in an area hospital, and had underlying high risk health conditions.
- A man in his 60s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in the City of Mesquite. He had been hospitalized.
- A man in his 60s who was a resident of the City of Dallas. He was found deceased at home, and had underlying high risk health conditions.
- A man in his 70s who was a resident of the City of Garland. He had been critically ill in an area hospital, and had underlying high risk health conditions.
- A man in his 80s who was a resident of the City of Dallas. He had been critically ill in an area hospital, and had underlying high risk health conditions.
- A man in his 80s who was a resident of the City of Dallas. He had been critically ill in an area hospital, and did not have underlying high risk health conditions.
- A woman in her 80s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in the City of Duncanville. She had been hospitalized, and had underlying high risk health conditions.
- A man in his 80s who was a resident of the City of Farmers Branch. He had been critically ill in an area hospital, and did not have underlying high risk health conditions.
Collin County Reports Deaths Of 77-Year-Old Melissa Woman
A 77-year-old Melissa woman with an underlying health condition became the 41st death on Wednesday at a McKinney hospital.
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 46 new cases, which brought the countywide total to 2,532.
Governor Abbott Planning More Policies To Address Spike In Cases
Gov. Greg Abbott says he plans to issue more executive orders to address the growing number of coronavirus cases in Texas, which hit another record high Thursday with 5,996 confirmed new infections.
"You should anticipate more orders coming out in the coming days as we continue to focus on what are the best strategies we can employ to protect the health and safety of our fellow Texans," Abbott told KAVU-TV in Victoria Thursday.
Yesterday, the governor paused plans to further reopen the state's economy and halted elective surgeries in four major counties to free up beds for COVID-19 patients.
Dallas County, Parkland Launch Contact Tracing Text Tool
Dallas County and Parkland Hospital have introduced a texting tool to help with contact tracing. Officials are calling it one way to help contain the spread of coronavirus as counties and the state see a surge in cases and hospitalizations.
With the county’s tool, a person would get a text message if they test positive for coronavirus, asking them to fill out a survey about who they have been close to for an extended length of time.
The survey is available in English and Spanish
“We want everyone to know, if you get this text, please click on the link and fill out the information,” said Dr. Philip Huang, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services. “It’s going to be important for all of us to get this information and to find those contacts and to notify them.”
The information goes to Parkland and the County Health Department, and officials say the data are strictly confidential.
The survey tool is a pilot program that started on Monday. Since then, about 955 surveys have gone out and over half of recipients have responded, at least partially, according to Brett Moran, chief medical information officer at Parkland Hospital. Twelve percent of respondents have completely filled out a survey.
The tool, Moran said, is “by no means” a replacement for manual contact tracing. Officials simply hope to lighten the information-gathering load on contact tracing staff.
“If a contact tracer team works 12 hours a day, seven days a week, you would still need over 1,300 contact tracers to do the work to support the number of COVID cases that we have,” Moran said.
The Dallas County Commissioners have approved funding for 260 contact tracers. At Thursday’s press conference, Huang said 60 tracers have finished the hiring process.
KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.