COVID-19 Live Updates: Dallas County Reports 205 More Cases | KERA News

COVID-19 Live Updates: Dallas County Reports 205 More Cases

May 15, 2020

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:

Monday, May 18

Texas State Parks Gradually Restart Overnight Camping

Limited overnight camping begins Monday at state parks across Texas. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says some existing reservations will be honored, but to prevent overcrowding, no new reservations can be made for now.

All visitors are required to pre-purchase and print day-use and overnight camping permits through the Texas State Parks website before traveling to a park.

TPWD recommends visitors wear face coverings and bring their own supply of hand sanitizer. The department says state parks will continue to require six feet of distancing from people outside of your group. Gatherings of larger than five people not in the same family or household are prohibited in state parks, TPWD says. — KUT

Sunday, May 17

Dallas County Reports 205 More Cases, 6 Deaths

Dallas County Health and Human Services is reporting 205 more cases of COVID-19, bringing the countywide total to 7,455.

Six additional deaths are also reported:

  • An Irving man in his 30s who had been critically ill
  • A Richardson man in his 70s who had been critically ill in a hospital
  • A man in his 80s who was a resident of a Dallas long-term care facility and expired in the facility
  • A man in his 90s who was a resident of a Mesquite long-term care facility and had been hospitalized
  • A man in his 90s who was a resident of a Dallas long-term care facility and died in the facility
  • A man in his 90s who was a resident of a Dallas long-term care facility and died in the facility.

Tarrant County Reports 97 More Cases

Tarrant County Public Health is reporting 97 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the countywide total to 4,447. The county is reporting 2 deaths from the disease — a Keller man in his 80s and a Fort Worth man in his 70s. Both had underlying health conditions. Tarrant County now has 123 confirmed deaths from COVID-19.

Denton County Reports 18 More Cases

Denton County Public Health is reporting 18 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the countywide total to 1, 069.

Collin County Reports 12 More Cases

Collin County Public Health is reporting 12 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the countywide total to 1, 028.

Gov. Abbott’s Second Phase Of Reopening Launches Monday

The second phase of Governor Greg Abbott's plan to reopen the Texas economy begins Monday.

The state will allow gyms, office spaces and non-essential manufacturing businesses to open, as long as they follow new guidelines.

One sector that has yet to receive the green light to open: Bars. The Texas Restaurant Association said the state has lost $40 million in liquor tax revenue because of the lockdown.

In an interview with Bryan television station KBTX, Abbott said his office is considering all ideas for making bars safe enough to open for business again.

“Bars bring people together and so bars have to operate counterintuitively to what they typically do,” he said. “Bar owners have reached out to us, talking about ways they could set up like restaurants where people would be sitting at a table, separated from others and so we’re looking at some of those strategies.”

It's expected Abbott will make an announcement Monday outlining when other facilities like bars, for example, might be able to reopen.

Saturday, May 16

Gov. Abbott Addresses Over 700 Cases In One Day In Amarillo

Governor Greg Abbott released a statement, detailing the containment plan for the COVID-19 outbreak in Amarillo where over 700 cases have been reported on Saturday. 

Surge Response Teams, consisting of 70 members of the National Guard and personnel from the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force, were deployed to Amarillo on Monday, May 4. The teams conducted a survey of high-risk areas to start testing meat packing workers. 

The rise in positive cases was a result of the targeted testing, according to the press release. 

"As Texas continues ramping up its testing capabilities, there will be an increase in positive cases as the state targets the most high-risk areas: nursing homes, meat packing plants and jails," Abbott said. "That is exactly why I established Surge Response Teams. By immediately deploying resources and supplies to these high risk areas, we will identify the positive cases, isolate the individuals and ensure any outbreak is quickly contained, which is the strategy being deployed in Amarillo."

Meat packing plants with widespread outbreaks have been temporarily shut down for disinfection. Patients who tested positive and can’t isolate are being offered hotels. DSHS is also managing an alternate care site for patients who don’t require hospitalization. An additional allotment of the COVID-19 drug Remdesivir will also be sent to Amarillo.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Texas Department of State Health Services, BCFS Health and Human Services and local officials are responding to the outbreak.

Tarrant Announces 84 New Cases 

Tarrant County Public Health reported 84 additional cases, bringing the total case count in the county to 4,350. 

There have been 121 deaths related to COVID-19. 

Dallas County Reports 214 New Cases 

Dallas County Health and Human Services announced 214 additional cases of COVID-19, raising the total case count in the county to 7,250. The county has a total of 170 deaths.

The additional six deaths being reported today include:

  • A man in his 40’s who was a resident of the City of Mesquite and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
  • A woman in her 50’s who was a resident of the City of Dallas and expired in a hospital ED.
  • A woman in her 70’s who was a resident of the City of Garland and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
  • A man in his 80’s who was a resident of the City of Grand Prairie and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
  • A man in his 80’s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in the City of Irving and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
  • A woman in her 100’s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in the City of Mesquite and had been hospitalized.

Collin Announces 8 Additional Cases 

Collin County Public Health reported eight additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total case count to 1,016. 

There have been 31 deaths related to COVID-19 in the county. 

Denton County Announces 11 New Cases 

Denton County Public Health reported 11 additional cases of COVID-19, raising the total case count in the county to 1,051. 

There have been a total of 28 deaths in the county. 

Data Shows 3,000 Nursing Home Residents Positive For Coronavirus

More than 3,000 nursing home residents in Texas have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Associated Press. The data was released by the state on Friday.

The 3,000 positive tests represent about 4% of the estimated number of Texans living in nursing homes, the Houston Chronicle reported. By comparison, about 0.15% of Texas residents have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday ordered coronavirus testing for all Texas nursing home residents and staff after the White House urged governors to do so as deaths mount nationwide.

Dallas Businesses Can Apply For Temporary Parklets Soon

Starting on Monday, business owners can apply for a temporary city permit that would allow them to expand their outdoor space with a parklet, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Temporary parklets carve out street parking to provide additional seating or space for pickup orders. They need traffic control barriers on each side of the designated seating area and an 18-inch buffer from traffic. 

Parklets can be as simple as chairs and tables set outside and must be removed every night — like a pop-up patio. They are inspired by cafe-style restaurants seen in Europe and other urban cities.

Friday, May 15

5 More Deaths, 199 New Cases In Dallas County

Dallas County is reporting five new deaths and 199 additional positive cases COVID-19. This brings the total case count in the county to 7,036, including 164 deaths.

The deaths being reported today are described as:

  • A Mesquite woman in her 60s who had been critically ill in an area hospital.
  • A Grand Prairie woman in her 60s who had been critically ill in an area hospital.
  • A Grand Prairie man in his 60s who was found deceased at home.
  • A Mesquite woman in her 70s who lived in a long-term care facility and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
  • An Irving man in his 80s who also lived at a long-term care facility and had been hospitalized.

Tarrant County Reports 3 More Deaths

Tarrant County Public Health reported three additional deaths, including a man in his 50s, a woman in her 60s and a woman in her 80s who were all from Fort Worth. 

Two of the patients had underlying health conditions. 

The county now has 120 deaths and 1,467 people have recovered. 

Denton County Reports 24 New Cases

Denton County health officials are reporting 24 cases of COVID-19. This increases the cumulative, countywide total to 1,040 confirmed cases.

There have been 28 deaths related to the disease in the county and 548 people have recovered, according to health officials.

15 New Cases in Collin County

Collin County is reporting 15 new cases of COVID-19 today bringing the countywide total to 1,008 confirmed positive cases.

According to county health officials 661 people in the county have successfully recovered from the disease. There have been 31 deaths in Collin County related to COVID-19.

Dallas County Judge Launches New “Stay Safe Business” Program

A recent letter from state Attorney General Ken Paxton said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins can't require businesses to follow recommendations for reopening set out by the governor.

In response, Jenkins yesterday announced a new program called “Stay Safe Business.”

The Dallas Morning News reports businesses can get a “Stay Safe Business” designation from the county by pledging to follow the guidelines set out for their industry as long as their business falls in line with the county’s color-coded coronavirus recommendations chart.

The county's currently in the “red” risk zone, which recommends the strictest precautions and indicates a high risk of community transmission of COVID-19.

To move into the next-lowest risk level, orange, the county would need to see 14 days of decline in certain indicators, including ICU admissions, occupied hospital beds, ER visits and hospitalizations related to COVID-19.

UT Arlington Will Give $10.6 Million To Students Through Grants Funded By CARES Act

UT Arlington is providing $10.6M to eligible students as a financial aid grant after receiving funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Full-time students will receive $1,000, and part-time students will receive $500. Funds will be disbursed directly to students, even if they have outstanding charges with the university.

The university received $21,177,188 from the CARES Act in April, with at least half being designated to be used for student financial aid grants.

Under federal guidelines, only students who are eligible for federal aid and have a financial need can be considered. International or undocumented students and students not enrolled cannot apply. Students in degree programs that were exclusively online before March 13 are also ineligible.

Eviction And Debt Collection Proceedings To Resume Next Week

The Texas Supreme Court has ordered evictions and debt collection proceedings to resume next week, after both were put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Texas Tribune reports that eviction hearings can be held as soon as Tuesday. Landlords can order evictions beginning May 26.

However, some tenants are protected through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act through August 23. That includes renters whose homes have federally backed mortgages. Others may be protected by local orders.

Debt collectors can also garnish accounts again beginning later this month. 

Thursday, May 14

Dallas County Reports 235 New Cases, 6 Deaths

Dallas County Health and Human Services is reporting 235 additional cases of COVID-19 and six deaths. These numbers bring the total number of cases countywide to 6,837 and the total number of deaths to 159.

The deceased include:

  • A Dallas man in his 50s who had been critically ill in a hospital
  • A Dallas woman in her 60s who had been critically ill in a hospital
  • A Dallas man in his 60s who was hospitalized
  • A Dallas man in his 60s who had been critically ill in a hospital
  • A Dallas man in his 90s who had been critically ill in a hospital
  • A man in his 90s who was a resident of a Dallas long-term care facility

Tarrant County Reports 135 New Cases, 3 Deaths

Tarrant County Public Health is reporting 135 new cases of COVID-19 and three deaths, bringing the countywide total number of cases to 4,211. The deceased include a man in his 80s and a man in his 70s from Fort Worth and a woman in her 80s from Keller. All had underlying health conditions.

Denton County Reports 27 New Cases, 3 Deaths

Denton County Public Health is reporting 27 new cases of COVID-19 and three deaths. The deaths include:

  • A hospitalized man in his 70s who was a resident Denton
  • A hospitalized man in his 60s who was a resident of The Colony
  • A hospitalized woman in her 70s who was a resident of southwest unincorporated Denton County

These numbers bring the countywide total number of cases to 1,016.

Collin County Reports 15 New Cases

Collin County Public Health is reporting 15 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the countywide total to 993.

Governor To Announce More Reopening Plans

Gov. Greg Abbott is set to to announce another set of reopening plans on Monday.

“We’re opening Texas as fast as possible while also containing the spread of COVID-19,” Abbott said in a Wednesday night interview with KETK.

Health experts say that even small steps toward reopening businesses will increase the number of people who become sick from the virus. The governor has allowed the reopening of a number of businesses across industries over the last two weeks, including restaurants, retailers and hair salons. Originally Abbott said bars would get the go-ahead to reopen by mid-May. He has stopped short of putting a date on their reopening, saying he needs more information from experts to figure out how to reopen them safely.

“Part of what we seek to do this coming Monday is seek to get the advice of our four-doctor medical team about safe ways that current businesses may be allowed to open up even further and safe ways that certain businesses that are not open may be allowed to open,” Abbott said in an interview Wednesday evening with WOAI. “So we are still providing information to our medial team, getting advice back from our medical team, and we will be making these decisions here in the coming days."

Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen also went on the air to defend the governor’s decision to reopen more businesses.

“If Texans follow the health guidelines of washing their hands, social distancing, wearing a face-covering when they go out in public, then we can be successful in reopening our economy, getting Texans back to work,” Bonnen said on KETK. — Stacy Fernández and Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune

Collin County Launches COVID-19 Testing For Uninsured

The Collin County Commissioners Court approved funds to cover costs for testing uninsured residents of the county through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

The service includes testing for COVID-19 and a medical evaluation, either in an office visit or drive-through facility. A voucher system will ensure that the county is billed directly by healthcare providers. Vouchers do not cover prescriptions, and only uninsured residents of Collin County are eligible.

So far, two providers have agreed to accept the vouchers — PrimaCare Urgent Care and CommunityMed Urgent Care.

Online forms and more information are posted on the Collin CARES page. For those who can’t access or print the online forms, please check for availability with the testing provider.

Texas Meatpacking Plant Changes Course, Allowing State To Test Workers 

A meatpacking plant near Amarillo has accepted the state’s offer to test employees for the coronavirus as officials try to contain a cluster of infections connected to the facility.

State emergency management officials yesterday initially said JBS USA didn't agree to allow the state test workers.

However, hours later, the company said it would accept, but still needed to work out the details of how to do it.

A spokeswoman for JBS said testing will begin late next week. The facility employs about 3,000 workers.

Federal Government Extends Support Of Two Dallas Test Sites

The federal government has extended its support of two COVID-19 testing sites in Dallas.

U.S. officials had planned to stop that support at Ellis Davis Field House and American Airlines Center at the end of the month.

County Judge Clay Jenkins this week sought an extension. He said each site could handle as many as 500 tests a day. 

The Deputy Surgeon General has since told the state Emergency Management division that federally supported testing would be extended through June 30 at the two Dallas sites - and five others in El Paso and Harris County.

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

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