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COVID-19 In DFW March 29-April 4: Local Counties Extend Stay-At-Home Orders

LM Otero
Associated Press

This week, Dallas and Tarrant Counties extended their Stay-At-Home emergency orders through April 30. Here's a timeline of how the coronarvirus has been affecting North Texas this week.

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

Saturday, April 4

Denton County Reports New Cases  

An additional 15 cases of COVID-19 are confirmed, according to Denton County Public Health. The total case count is now 288 with six total deaths in the county. 

3rd Death Reported In Collin County

Collin County Health Care Services announced the county's third COVID-19-related death.

The patient was a 67-year-old Frisco woman who died early Saturday morning. She had underlying health conditions.

“We are sad to learn of the death of another member of our Collin County community today,” said Collin County Judge Chris Hill. “All of us grieve together with her family during this difficult time.”

Tarrant Reports 2 New COVID-19 Deaths 

Two more COVID-19-related deaths were confirmed in Tarrant County, bringing the total there to nine. 

One was an elderly resident of Southlake with underlying health conditions, said county health director Vinny Taneja. The other was a younger person from Haltom City with no known health conditions. Both contracted the virus through community spread.

94 New Cases Bring Dallas County Total To 1,015

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Dallas County topped 1,000 for the first time, the county's Health and Human Services department reported.  The 94 new cases brought the total count to 1,015. 

The county also announced its 18th death, a man in his 30s who lived in Dallas. He'd  been critically ill in a hospital and did not have underlying high-risk health conditions. 

Almost three-quarters of cases that have required hospitalization have been over 60-years-old or were known to have had at least one high-risk chronic health condition, according to a press release. Diabetes has been reported in over a quarter of all patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

Friday, April 3

Tarrant County Extends Stay-At-Home Order Until April 30

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley on Friday modified elements of the county's COVID-19 disaster order.

The new order extends the county’s disaster declaration and stay-at-home decree to April 30. The previous order was to end on Tuesday.

An addendum to the order also defines restrictions on in-person worship services in the county, days before Christians celebrate Palm Sunday and Jewish Passover begins: "As of April 3, 2020, the Tarrant County public health officer identifies substantial community spread/transmission; therefore, all in-person gatherings of any size are prohibited."

Dallas County's Stay-At-Home Order Extended Until April 30 

Dallas County Commissioners on Friday voted to extend a local disaster declaration until May 20. And Judge Clay Jenkins says he's extending the county's stay-at-home order until April 30.

Jenkins posted a note on Twitter Friday afternoon explaining the matter.

“Based on the extension of the Declaration of Disaster granted today, I am extending the Dallas County Safer at Home Order to April 30,” Jenkins wrote. “The Declaration of Disaster is necessary to provide the tools to lead you through this. The Safer at Home Orders are the rules we ask of you.”

Jenkins says that local hospital officials believe a stay-at-home order will be needed until late May – and that he’ll re-evaluate the matter in late April.

Friday's vote came as the county reported more than 900 cases of COVID-19.

Jenkins said during the meeting that the extension is designed to help give "health care workers their best chance of having the capacity to take care of people and not have the hospitals be overrun."

"Your decision to put public health first sends a strong message to healthcare heroes and residents,"  Jenkins wrote on Twitter. "We will continue to work with you, the business community and residents to save lives."

Commissioner John Wiley Price expressed concerns about the extension.

“Sixty days … will decimate my community,” Price said during Friday's meeting. “I’m having some real trepidation on how we continue on this so-called journey for the next 60 days.”

He’s worried about local businesses that have been shut down because they’re not considered essential. He says they’re “dying on the vine” and “cannot sustain themselves.”

“A dog can get a haircut but people in my community can’t get a haircut,” Price said.

We have updated this post to incorporate Jenkins' additional comments on social media and to offer more details on the April 30 and May 20 extensions. 

Denton County Reports 19 New Cases, 6th Death

Denton County Public Health is reportingthe sixth death from COVID-19 and 19 more cases of the disease. The latest patient was a resident of nursing facility in Lewisville. She was in her 70s.

The 19 new cases bring the Denton County total to 273.

Collin County Announces 2nd COVID-19 Related Death

Collin County Health Care Services is reportingthe second death related to the coronavirus in the county. The woman, 41, was a resident of Anna and had underlying health complications.

Dallas County Announces 90 More Cases

Dallas County Health and Human Services is reporting 90 more positive cases of COVID-19 in Dallas County. This beings the total number of cases in the county to 921, including 17 deaths.

Tarrant County is reporting one more death from COVID-19, which brings the county's total deaths to seven. County Public Health Director Danny Taneja said in a statement that the latest patient was a Fort Worth resident with underlying health conditions.

According to the Tarrant County website, the total number of cases has risen to 383.

6th Dallas Police Officer Tests Positive

Dallas Police Department is reporting a sixth officer has tested positive for COVID-19. The traffic officer is in home quarantine.

A narcotics officer from police headquarters is under quarantine after the officer's spouse tested positive. Both officers' work areas and equipment have been sanitized. The police department's medical team will assess if quarantine is necessary for other officers.

Dallas Hospitals Update Capacity

Fifteen Dallas hospitals have reported bed capacity and number of ventilators.

  • Total beds: 4,763
  • Beds occupied: 2,365
  • Total ICU beds: 717
  • ICU beds occupied: 413
  • Total ventilators: 838
  • Ventilators in use: 245

These numbers are a point-in-time count. They mau change throughout the day.
Hospitals reporting are: Baylor University Medical Center, Baylor Scott & White - Uptown, Children's Health Dallas, Children's Health Our Children's House, Medical City Dallas, Medical City Heart Hospital, Medical City Spine Hospital, Methodist Charlton, Methodist Dallas, North Central Surgical Center Hospital, Parkland Health & Hospital System, Texas Health Resources (Presbyterian & Texas Institute for Surgery), Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, UT Southwestern William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital.

Coronavirus Continues To Spread In North Texas And The State 

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Texas reached over 5,200 Friday morning, according to numbers from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. More than 1,600 of those cases are in North Texas. There have been at least 58 deaths related to the disease in the state, at least 28 of those who died lived in North Texas.

Wednesday, Dallas County reported 100 additional cases of COVID-19 and the county's 17th death from the disease. Tarrant County reported two additional deaths.

There have been over 1 million cases of the disease reported across the globe. In the U.S., more than 245,000 cases of the disease and over 6,000 deaths have been reported.

Thursday, April 2

Dallas County Reports 100 More COVID-19 Cases

Dallas County Health and Human Services reports an additional 100 positive cases of COVID-19. The 16th and 17th deaths are reported, including a woman in her 70s who was a resident of a long-term care facility and a woman in her 80s who lived in Dallas.

Tarrant County Reports Three More Deaths

Tarrant County Public Health confirmed three more county residents have died after testing positive for COVID-19. Two lived in Forest Hill; one lived in Fort Worth.

Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja said all three patients were elderly with underlying health conditions.

Dallas Police Confirms 5th Officer Tests Positive

The Dallas Police Department confirms that an officer from the Southeast Patrol has tested positive for COVID-19. The officer's last day in the office was March 28.

Hospitals Report Bed, Ventilator Numbers

Twelve Dallas hospitals reported bed capacity and number of ventilators to Mayor Eric Johnson on Thursday, as required by the city's emergency regulations.

  • Total beds: 4343
  • Beds occupied: 2267
  • Total ICU beds: 565
  • ICU beds occupied: 315
  • Total ventilators: 622
  • Ventilators in use: 188

These numbers reflect a point-in-time count and may change throughout the day.
Dallas County COVID-19 Response Fund Created To Help

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and the Communities Foundation of Texas have created the Dallas County COVID-19 Response Fund to help frontline responders stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Trustees of the fund include Dallas ISD trustee Miguel Solis; Dr. Michael Horne, president and CEO fo the Parkland Foundation; Lynn McBee, CEO of Young Women's Prep Network; and Debbie Branson, lawyer at The Law Offices of Frank Branson.

So far, $100,000 has been pledged to the fund.

Texas Tops 4,600 Cases, Reports 68 Deaths

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Texas reached over 4,600 Thursday morning, according to numbers from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. More than 1,400 of those cases are in North Texas. There have been at least 58 deaths related to the disease in the state.

Across the U.S. there have been more than 216,000 cases of the disease and over 5,000 deaths reported.

Plano To Enforce Social Distancing Rules At Parks

Plano's using parks and recreation workers and library staffers to enforce social distancing in city parks.

The Dallas Morning News reports the city's sending the workers out as "friendly monitors" to the parks to remind people to keep at least six feet from others.

Some North Texas cities like Dallas have threatened to close all its parks and trails if people continue to overcrowd them, but a statement from leaders in Plano stated they want residents to continue to benefit from the city's 85 parks and nature preserves.

Fort Worth ISD Board Grants Superintendent More Powers To Handle Coronavirus Closure

The Fort Worth School board has voted to give the superintendent executive powers to streamline decision-making during the coronavirus shutdown.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Kent Scribner will be allowed to unilaterally make decisions that fall under 11 categories, including decisions regarding payment of employees, altering the school district calendar, making purchases for the district and authorizing waivers with the Texas Education Agency.

Scribner also has the authority to provide educational services to students through e-learning.

He will report all decisions to the board, but will not need to consult them beforehand.

Fabian Hernandez’ Execution Delayed Due To Coronavirus

Another scheduled execution of a Texas death row inmate has been delayed because of the spread of coronavirus.

Fabian Hernandez was set to receive a lethal injection April 23 for the 2006 shooting deaths of his estranged wife and one of her friends in El Paso.

The state criminal appeals court cited COVID-19 as the reason for issuing two delays last month, but did not specify why they delayed Hernandez’ sentence.

His attorney requested a delay because of the “current health crisis.”

Sunday, March 29

In Dallas County, Clusters Of Cases At Centers That Serve Seniors

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins is asking residents to consider taking their loved ones out of local nursing homes. That’s after health officials identified clusters of COVID-19 at two facilities: Edgemere Senior Living and Skyline Nursing Center. Jenkins says residents coming home from affected facilities must be quarantined alongside their families.

“Before you pick up your loved one, you’ll want to stock up on groceries because when you’re under quarantine, you cannot go to the grocery store,” Jenkins said Sunday. “You cannot go anywhere.”

Dallas County reported its 10th death from COVID-19 Sunday. The patient was a woman in her 80s who lived in the Edgemere community. She had been hospitalized and had high-risk chronic health conditions.

Dallas County on Sunday reported 49 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the county's total case count to 488. --Syeda Hasan and Domini Davis

In Dallas County, More Than One-Third Of Hospitalized Patients In ICU

So far, most people in Dallas County diagnosed with COVID-19 have not required hospitalization. But the number of patients being admitted is on the rise.

That’s according to the latest coronavirus report from Dallas County Health and Human Services. It analyzed cases reported through this past Friday. 

The majority of hospitalized Dallas County COVID-19 patients have been over 60 or have been known to have at least one high‐risk chronic health condition. Officials say 36% of hospitalized patients have been admitted to intensive care units. 

Throughout the county, a majority of patients who have tested positive live in the city of Dallas. The nonprofit Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation has been working with the county to analyze the geographic distribution of COVID-19 cases. The group reports higherconcentrations in pockets of southwest and north central Dallas County. --Syeda Hasan 

Denton County Announces 17 More Cases

Denton County Public Health on Sunday announced 17 additional cases of COVID-19. This increases the countywide total to 165.

The county reported five new cases involving residents at the Denton State Supported Living Center; a total of 45 residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Nine staff members at the center have also tested positive; two live outside Denton County.

Gov. Abbott Issues Updates, New Executive Orders

Gov. Greg Abbott announced today that Dallas' Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center has been set up to provide additional medical care should it be needed in the coming weeks to treat COVID-19 patients.

Abbott has also expanded recent executive orders today:

  • Travel by road from any location in Louisiana into Texas will require 14-day self-quarantine.
  • Air travelers from Miami, Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago and any city in California and Washington will have to self-quarantine for 14 days in Texas.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said he’s grateful for the state’s assistance.
“The availability of hospital beds will be crucial to saving lives in the event of a surge in COVID-19 cases," Johnson said in a statement. "We will continue to work with Governor Abbott to ensure Dallas has the necessary resources to help us through these difficult times.”

Dallas Park Officials Warn Of Overcrowding At Parks, Trails

Dallas park officials say overcrowding may force them to close the city's trails and 397 parks, so they have taken steps to alleviate crowding at certain parks and trails in the city, particularly Katy Trail and White Rock Lake. Visitors, officials say, are not observing social distancing rules.

Barricades have been placed at some entrances, and park rangers are monitoring spaces to ensure that visitors are complying with the safe distance requirement of six feet.

12:56 p.m. - 2 Fort Worth Police Officers Test Positive For COVID-19

Two Fort Worth police officers have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release today.

Both officers, who work in the same unit, have been in self-isolation at their homes. According to the statement, both officers had limited close contact with others while at work.

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