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From Hospitals To Parks To Jails, How The Coronavirus Is Affecting Texas

LM Otero
Associated Press
A memorial statue of Rosa Parks wears a mask at a bus stop in downtown Dallas on Friday.

The coronavirus outbreak is having a growing impact on Texas, from local hospitals preparing for more cases to concerns about COVID-19 spreading in jails and prisons.

Across Texas, there were more than 5,200 confirmed cases as of Friday afternoon. Nearly 90 people had died.

In North Texas, more than 1,800 cases were reported in the four largest counties as of Friday. Tarrant reported its seventh death, and 383 cases in all. Collin County announced its second death Friday, and a total of 227 cases. Denton County reported a sixth death, and a total of 273 cases.

Dallas County reported 90 new cases Friday, bringing the county’s total to 921. That includes a total of 17 deaths.

Dallas County is extending the local stay-at-home order through April 30. Judge Clay Jenkins says extending the order is designed to help local health care workers and alleviate pressure on hospitals. County health officials say they anticipate a jump in COVID-19 cases in late April and early May.

Coronavirus and hospitals: As cases continue to rise across North Texas, local hospitals are shifting gears to be ready.

Coronavirus and recreation: This weekend, more people will likely head to parks and trails. But in Dallas, some have been packed. So the mayor's calling on residents to follow social-distancing rules.

Coronavirus and criminal justice: Being in jail while the highly infectious coronavirus is spreading? Criminal justice advocates say it's a scary situation. Already, the two largest counties in Texas are struggling with outbreaks in their jails. As counties work to reducing the number of people in jail, that’s led to something of a disagreement between state and local leaders.

Coronavirus and the economy: U.S. weekly jobless claims jumped to 6.6 million people this week. Jay Shambaugh is an economist with the Brookings Institution, and he shares strategies for keeping industries and workers afloat.

Coronavirus and the arts: The Dallas Theater Center was set to premiere a new work the same week Dallas County declared a public health emergency. Audiences never got to see "American Mariachi" live, but people can still catch the play online.