COVID-19 In DFW May 17-23: Texas Bars Reopened Friday
Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday announced his next wave of reopenings designed to restart the Texas economy during the coronavirus pandemic, saying child care facilities can reopen immediately, bars can open Friday with limited capacity and sporting events can return without fans at the end of the month.
Get the latest news from our COVID-19 Live Updates page.
Saturday, May 23
3 More Deaths, 172 New Cases In Dallas County
Dallas County is reporting three additional deaths and 172 new cases of COVID-19. This brings the total case count in Dallas County to 8,649, including 210 deaths.
The additional three deaths reported today are described as:
-A Richardson man in his 70s who lived at a long-term care facility, had been hospitalized and had underlying high risk health conditions.
-A Seagoville woman in her 80s who had been critically ill in an area hospital, and did not have any known underlying high risk health conditions.
-A Mesquite man in his 80s who lived in a long-term care facility and had underlying high risk health conditions.
Officials say of cases requiring hospitalization, two-thirds have been among people under 65 years of age, and about half do not have high-risk chronic health conditions.
Diabetes has been an underlying high-risk health condition reported in about a third of all hospitalized patients with COVID-19, and of the 210 total deaths reported to date, over a third have been associated with long-term care facilities.
Tarrant County Reports 52 New Cases
Tarrant County health officials are reporting 52 new COVID-19 cases. That brings the total number countywide to 4,951, including 143 deaths.
According to data from health officials, 1,832 county residents have recovered from the disease.
7 New Cases In Denton County
Denton County Public Health is reporting seven new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county.
This increases the cumulative, countywide total to 1,212 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 30 deaths. County health data says 616 people have recovered from the disease.
Collin County Reports 4 New Cases
There are four new cases of COVID-19 in Collin County today, bringing the total number of confirmed cases countywide to 1,136, including 33 deaths.
County officials say 803 residents have successfully recovered from the disease and 21 remain hospitalized.
Texas Unemployment Hits All-Time High
Texas’ unemployment rate for April is the worst on the state’s record. In March, it was at 4.7%, and in April it soared to over 12%.
“The Texas unemployment rate for April 2020 is 12.8% due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic,” said Cisco Gamez with the Texas Workforce Commission. “12.8% is lower than the national average of 14.7%.”
According to the TWC, all major industries in Texas experienced job losses over the last month.
Still, Gamez says Texas is hiring, with more than 525,000 jobs available on the agency’s website.
Study Projects 1 Million Texans Will Lose Health Insurance
A new study shows that 1 million Texans are projected to lose their health insurance because of the economic recession in the U.S. caused by COVID-19.
Layoffs and furloughs across the country have caused millions to lose their employer-sponsored health insurance coverage.
Dallas Morning News business columnist Mitchell Schnurman told public radio's Texas Standard that in Texas, there aren't many other alternatives for coverage.
"The question is how many have somewhere else to go,” Schnurman said. “Across the U.S. 7 in 10 will get coverage elsewhere, in Texas it's just 1 in 2..."
Schnurman says that Texas is also among the states that did not expand Medicaid when the Affordable Care Act became law. So the only people eligible for health coverage through that program are groups like pregnant women and children or those with disabilities, who also have low incomes.
Texas Beaches Brace For Busy Weekend
Texas beaches, which the governor ordered open on May 1, could see an influx of visitors over Memorial Day Weekend.
Peter Davis is chief of the Galveston Island Beach Patrol. He says despite the possibility of a little rain, they're anticipating large crowds based on the patterns over the last month.
"I think people are still pretty stir crazy and even though they have a few more options now of other things do besides go to the beach, so that takes a little pressure off us, it's still a really easy cheap way to get out and have some fun they've been cooped up for a long time," Davis said.
Davis reminds people to maintain social distancing while at the beach.
UT-Dallas Creates COVID-19 Dashboard
Researchers from four departments at the University of Texas at Dallas have collaborated on a COVID-19 dashboard. The tool tracks current virus data and creates epidemiological models.
The information is open to the public, as well as government entities, including the City of Dallas, where officials say they will use the new tool to help make decisions regarding reopening facilities and informing first responders of hotspots.
One part of the tool allows users to view the infection rate over a two-week period and per capita comparisons for individual counties, the state or dozens of U.S. metropolitan areas. Information on North Texas hospital capacity will also be available.
Friday, May 22
96 New Cases In Tarrant County
Tarrant County reports 96 new cases, bringing the total case count in the county to 4,899. There have been 141 deaths related to COVID-19 in the county. According to public health officials, 1,809 people have recovered from the disease.
Denton Reports 1 Death, 17 New Cases
Denton County Public Health announced one death and 17 new cases, bringing the total case count in the county to 1,205.
The 30th death was a patient who was a previously reported hospitalized female in her 60s and a Carrollton resident.
2 Additional Deaths, 14 New Cases In Collin County
Collin County Public Health announced 14 new cases, raising the total case count in the county to 1,132. There were also two additional deaths, bringing the total to 33.
The patients were two elderly women with underlying health conditions. One was a 98-year-old woman from Plano who died this morning at the Life Care Center of Plano and the other was an 82-year-old woman from Richardson who died May 3 at a hospital in Plano. The Richardson woman’s death was not reported to county officials until today.
Dallas County Reports 4 More Deaths, 204 Additional Cases
Dallas County is reporting four more deaths and 204 additional positive cases COVID-19. That brings the total case count in Dallas County to 8,477, including 207 deaths.
The additional four deaths are being described as:
-A Dallas man in his 50s who had been critically ill in an area hospital.
-A Dallas woman in her 70s who had been critically ill in an area hospital.
-A Dallas man in his 70s who had been critically ill in an area hospital.
-An Irving man in his 80s who lived in a long-term care facility.
“Today's number follows a trend of this week having a lower number of positive cases than last week, and our hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and ICU admissions staying relatively flat,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement. “Unfortunately, none of this leads to the 14 day decline that the doctors have talked about, so we are still at that red ‘stay home stay safe’ zone.”
New Lawsuit Seeks Release Of Medically Vulnerable In Dallas County Jail
A new lawsuit seeks the release of medically vulnerable people detained in the Dallas County jail. Several hundred inmates there have tested positive for COVID-19.
Henderson Hill is with the American Civil Liberties Union, one of the groups that filed the lawsuit today. He said yesterday social distancing is impossible within the facility.
"People are crammed in like so many canned sardines,” Hill said. “There's no way to practice physical distancing in the Dallas County jail."
Henderson says they're asking Dallas County officials to ensure that the jail adopts health protocols, like regular testing, social distancing, and free access to soap and masks.
The Dallas Morning News reports the lawsuit was filed against County Sheriff Marion Brown on behalf of inmates David Daniels, Jodie Campbell and Keilie McCullar, who are detained in the jail.
Attorneys for the inmates are also representing at least nine inmates in a federal court case against the jail. U.S. District Judge Ada Brown denied their motion for temporary restraining order, which would have granted their release.
Pier 1 Going-Out-Of-Business Sales Starts Today
Fort Worth-based Pier 1 Imports begins going-out-of-business sales today.
That's ahead of plans announced earlier this week to wind down operations after an unsuccessful bankruptcy reorganization.
The company had been struggling in recent years with more competition and was trying to reorganize around 450 stores or find a buyer, but the pandemic thwarted those prospects.
Collin County Holds Online Jury Trial
A court in Collin County this week held what's believed to be the first American jury trial conducted over online video.
Monday's non-binding, abbreviated lawsuit trial over a disputed insurance claim was an experiment in restarting parts of the justice system halted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Potential jurors connected with the court over Zoom. Jury selection streamed live on YouTube.
Matthew Pearson served as the plaintiff's attorney. He said the experience went better than he expected.
Texas Supreme Court Justice Tests Positive
Debra Lehrmann yesterday tweeted she and her husband tested positive after showing symptoms last week. She told The Dallas Morning News the couple have “strictly adhered” to stay-at-home orders since early March. They did get visits from family, including an infant grandchild.
Greg and I have tested positive for COVID-19. We began to exhibit symptoms last week, despite diligently complying with stay-at-home rules. Thankfully, this has not interfered with #SCOTX work, as the Court is working remotely. We are grateful for your thoughts & prayers. #SBOT— Debra Lehrmann (@JusticeLehrmann) May 21, 2020
Lehrmann said her health has not interfered with her job, because the state Supreme Court is working remotely.
Lehrmann's the highest-ranking state official known to have contracted COVID-19.
Thursday, May 21
Tarrant County Reports 92 New Cases
Tarrant County Public Health announced 92 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total case count in the county to 4,803.
There have been 139 deaths related to COVID-19 in the county.
27 Additional Cases, 1 New Death In Denton County
Denton County Public Health announced 27 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total case count in the county to 1,188. The county also reported one additional death of a Denton County community member, raising the total deaths to 29.
The patient was a previously reported hospitalized female in her 70s who was a resident of Denton Rehabilitation Center.
Collin County Announces 28 New Cases
Collin County Public Health reported 28 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total case count to 1,118.
There have been 31 deaths associated with COVID-19 in the county. According to public health officials, 754 people have successfully recovered from the disease.
183 Additional Cases In Dallas County
Dallas County Health and Human Services reported 183 new cases of COVID-19, raising the total case count in the county to 8,273.
There have been 203 deaths related to COVID-19 in the county. The additional seven deaths being reported today include:
- A man in his 50s who was a resident of the City of Lancaster and had been hospitalized.
- A woman in her 50s who was a resident of the City of Dallas and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
- A man in his 60s who was a resident of the City of Dallas and was found deceased at home.
- A man in his 80s who was a resident of the City of Dallas and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
- A woman in her 80s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in the City of Mesquite and had been hospitalized.
- A woman in her 90s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in the City of Dallas and had been hospitalized.
- A woman in her 90s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in the City of Dallas and expired at the facility.
Some State Agencies Face 5% Budget Cuts
Several state agencies have been told to find ways to cut their budgets due to the coronavirus pandemic. The cuts come as sales tax revenue — the state’s largest source of funding — dropped about 9% in April compared to the same month last year.
State leaders are telling agencies to come up with plans to cut budgets by 5%.
That includes higher education institutions.
Letters went out Wednesday – signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen. They say agencies need to prepare for an economic shock, and it will take months until the state knows the true extent of the economic ramifications of COVID-19.
Certain agencies are exempt — those include the Texas Workforce Commission, public safety, and Child Protective Services, school districts, as well as the state health department and behavioral health science programs.
CARES Act To Give DART Over $200 Million In Relief
Dallas Area Rapid Transit will receive $229 million from the federal CARES Act.
The Dallas Morning News reports DART officials have known about the money since last month, but the President's announcement about it yesterday caught the agency by surprise.
His tweet called the money “critical to economic recovery.”
Mark Ball with DART said the money will help offset budget losses from decreased tax revenue. It also will help reimburse the transit authority for expenses incurred “to protect passengers and employees” during the pandemic.
CVS To Open 44 New Drive-Through Test Sites In Texas
Friday, CVS will open 44 new COVID-19 test sites at drive-through pharmacy locations across Texas. In a statement, the company said the new sites will use self-swab tests and they expect to have up to 1,000 locations across the country offering this service by the end of May.
The self-swab tests will be available to people meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, in addition to age guidelines. Patients must register in advance at CVS.com where there’s a complete list of testing sites.
Patients will be required to stay in their cars and directed to the pharmacy drive-through window where they will be provided with a test kit and given instructions, and a CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process to ensure it is done properly. Tests will be sent to an independent, third-party lab for processing and the results will be available in approximately three days.
UT-Austin Campus To Reopen For Fall Semester
The University of Texas at Austin says students will return to campus for the fall semester.
That's from August 26 to Thanksgiving. Students won't return to campus after the holiday and will instead take their finals online.
When the campus opens, UT-Austin will have its own coronavirus testing material. The university anticipates needing to conduct more than 500 tests a day.
Texas State Parks Take Revenue Hit Due To Pandemic
The head of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says state parks are experiencing a drop in revenue because of temporary shutdowns and restricted capacity amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"If you look to the end of April, we're about 11% behind where we were last year,” Carter Smith said while speaking with members of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. “We should probably just expect that to grow at least through May and probably end of June."
State parks were allowed to reopen for day-use April 20. All but one state park have welcomed back visitors.
Limited camping resumed Monday.
North Texas Zoos To Reopen May 29
Gov. Greg Abbott's plan for the second phase of reopening the Texas economy allows zoos to welcome back visitors on May 29. Both the Dallas and Fort Worth Zoos are reopening that day with a slew of safety precautions in place.
Reservations will be required for all guests, wearing a face mask is encouraged, and certain exhibits will remain closed. Alexis Wilson is with the Fort Worth Zoo, she says they have added a lot of hand washing stations among other precautions.
"We have a designated clean team that will be cleaning hard surfaces, recently touched surfaces throughout the zoo,” Wilson said. “That is their sole responsibility everyday all day long."
The governor's order allows zoos to begin operating at 25% capacity. The directive allows aquariums in the state to open a week earlier than zoos starting tomorrow.
Federal Appeals Court Temporarily Blocks Voting-By-Mail Expansion In Texas
A federal appeals court in New Orleans has put on hold a ruling for expanding of mail-in voting in Texas.
Yesterday's decision by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals came less than 24 hours after a federal judge in San Antonio ruled Texas must give all its registered voters the option to mail-in their votes during the coronavirus pandemic.
That option 's now limited to those 65 or older or to those with a “sickness or physical condition” that prevents voting in person.
Read the full story from The Texas Tribune.
Wednesday, May 20
Dallas Expands Mobile Testing
Dallas officials are expanding mobile COVID-19 testing to all zip codes in the city.
The city approved a contract last week for testing in selected zip codes. But so far demand has been relatively low.
Mayor Eric Johnson spoke at a press conference.
"We're going to continue to give priority to zip codes that have been especially hard hit by COVID-19," Johnson said. "But we believe that we have the capacity to handle the demand for mobile testing."
Mobile testing is available to Dallas residents who do not have access to transportation to COVID-19 community testing sites in the county, and have symptoms, or have come in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
Dallas Parks Set To Reopen
Some Dallas parks will reopen on Friday. They include dog parks, skate parks and park pavilions.
Pavilion reservations will be limited to no more than 15 people, said John Jenkins, director of Dallas Park and Recreation.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said people should still wear masks and practice social distancing.
"This is not over," he said. "We are still in the middle of a pandemic, we are identifying hundreds of new cases every single day in this region. People are still dying."
Dallas County Reports 186 New Cases
Dallas County Health and Human Services announced 186 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total case count in the county to 8,090.
There have been 196 deaths related to COVID-19 in the county. The five additional deaths being reported today include:
- A man in his 40s who was a resident of the City of Irving and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
- A man in his 50s who was a resident of the City of Farmers Branch and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
- A woman in her 70s who was a resident of the City of Grand Prairie and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
- A man in his 70s who was a resident of the City of Mesquite and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
- A man in his 70s who was a resident of a long-term care facility in the City of Dallas and expired at an area hospital ED.
68 New Cases In Tarrant County
Tarrant County Public Health reported 68 new cases, bringing the total case count in the county to 4,711.
There have been 132 deaths related to COVID-19. According to public health officials in the county, 1,716 people have recovered from the disease — 126 of those reported today are from a federal prison outbreak.
Collin Announces 17 Additional Cases
Collin County Public Health reported 17 new cases, bringing the total case count in the county to 1,090. There have been 31 deaths associated with COVID-19 in the county. According to county health officials, 740 people have successfully recovered from the disease.
45 New Cases In Denton County
Denton County Public Health reported 45 additional cases, bringing the total case count to 1,161. The county also reported 28 deaths related to COVID-19.
Emergency Room Cases Decline In Tarrant County
The most recent data from Tarrant County's public health department shows COVID-19 cases in hospital emergency rooms are on the decline.
Vinny Taneja, Tarrant County's public health director, told county commissioners the number of coronavirus cases has been declining since a spike in late April.
"May is starting to look a little bit better,” Taneja said. “We had a little peak when I spoke with y'all last time and now it looks like we're coming off of that peak."
Meanwhile, the data shows hospital bed capacity has stayed about the same, with less than 10% of available beds being used for coronavirus patients.
Taneja also said the number of COVID-related deaths is gradually flattening, but he warned that delays in reporting positive cases can make the most recent numbers unreliable.
“This is sort of the most sensitive of indicators where the lag is less,” Taneja said. “So, fairly okay to look at this and say, 'Okay, we are starting to trend down at least on the COVID-like illness visits into [ERs}]in Tarrant County.'"
Taneja also noted that about 65% of COVID-related deaths in the county have been in those 65 or older, and urged that population to stay quarantined at home.
Trump Administration Indefinitely Extends Order Allowing Swift Removal Of Unauthorized Migrants At The Border
The U.S. government is indefinitely extending an order that allows officials to quickly remove unauthorized migrants at the border. The order was initially issued in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The CDC directive allows for swift expulsion of unauthorized migrants, including asylum-seekers and unaccompanied children. The order was issued in late March, then extended for 30 days.
On Tuesday, CDC director Robert Redfield extended the order again — but with no end date this time. Instead, it will stay in effect until he determines “the danger of further introduction of COVID-19 into the United States has ceased to be a serious danger to the public health.”
The Department of Homeland Security has used the policy to effectively seal off the border to asylum seekers. Since it went into effect, just two people seeking protection were allowed to stay in the U.S. to pursue asylum, as of May 13.
The U.S. government also announced Tuesday its borders will remain closed to non-essential travel for at least another month.
11 Immigrants Ssue ICE, Seeking Release From Alvarado Detention Center Where Coronavirus Has Spread
Eleven people held at a federal immigration detention center in Alvarado are suing Immigration and Customs Enforcement for their release.
The Dallas Morning News reports their lawsuit argues the immigrants are medically vulnerable to an outbreak of coronavirus at the center.
A federal judge has given the U.S. attorney’s office in Dallas until May 29 to respond to the suit.
ICE says 45 of the nearly 500 immigrants at the center have tested positive for coronavirus as of yesterday.
Federal Judge Rules In Favor Of Vote By Mail In Texas
In the latest twist in an already complex legal battle, a federal judge Tuesday ruled that any Texas voter who wants to vote by mail should be allowed to do so — but the Texas Republican attorney general is hitting back.
Judge Fred Biery of the Western District of Texas issued the injunction. Effectively, he said it would violate the U.S. Constitution for Texas to deny absentee ballots to voters who fear contracting COVID-19 when voting in person.
The judge’s move supersedes a stay by the Texas Supreme Court last week in a related state lawsuit. The Texas Democratic Party is the plaintiff in both the state and federal suits.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he would immediately appeal the federal court’s decision to the U.S. Fifth Circuit – widely regarded as the most conservative appeals court in the country.
Time is running short for a resolution of the issue before Texans next go to the polls. Early voting in the Texas primary runoff election begins in less than six weeks.
—Andrew Schneider, Houston Public Media—
Dallas County Property Appraisals Don’t Yet Take Pandemic Into Account
Appraisal notices are going out to homeowners and commercial property owners across North Texas.
The notices are based on values established in January, but Dallas County's preparing for owners to protest property values because of the coronavirus pandemic's effect on the economy.
Chief appraiser Ken Nolan told Dallas County commissioners Tuesday he can't predict what's going to happen during the next several months.
"If this continues to go on and god forbid there's a second wave,” Nolan said. “'21 will not be a good year for anyone value-wise because we'll have because it was going on in January of 2021."
Dallas County property owners have until June 15 to protest their appraised valuations.
The deadline for Tarrant County property owners is June 1.
Tuesday, May 19
28 New Cases In Denton County
Denton County Public Health reported 28 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total case count in the county to 1,116.
DCPH is providing free drive-thru COVID-19 testing at the Trophy Club on Friday, May 22 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Community members must call to pre-register at 940-349-2585. Eligible community members are essential workers, those who have COVID-19 symptoms or have been symptomatic within the past 7 days.
Collin Reports 26 Additional Cases
Collin County Public Health announced 26 new cases of COVID-19, raising the total case count in the county to 1,073.
There have been 31 deaths related to COVID-19 in the county.
14 More Deaths In Dallas County
Dallas County is reporting 14 additional deaths and 225 new cases of COVID-19. That brings the total case count in Dallas County to 7,904, including 191 deaths.
The additional 14 deaths reported today are being described as:
- A Dallas man in his 40s who had been critically ill in an area hospital.
- A Grand Prairie man in his 50s who was critically ill in an area hospital.
- A Grand Prairie woman in her 50s who had been critically ill in an area hospital.
- A Dallas man in his 50s who was found deceased at home.
- A Dallas man in his 60s who had been critically ill in an area hospital.
- A Mesquite woman in her 60s who lived in a long-term care facility and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
- A Mesquite man in his 60s who lived in a long-term care facility and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
- An Irving woman in her 60s who had been critically ill in an area hospital.
- A Dallas man in his 60s who lived in a long-term care facility and had been hospitalized.
- An Irving man in his 70s who had been critically ill in an area hospital.
- An Irving woman in her 70s who lived in a long-term care facility and had been hospitalized.
- A Duncanville man in his 80s who had been critically ill in an area hospital.
- A Garland woman in her 90s who had been hospitalized.
- A Mesquite man in his 90s who lived in a long-term care facility and died there.
Of cases requiring hospitalization in Dallas County, two-thirds have been under 65 years of age, and about half do not have high-risk chronic health conditions.
Tarrant County Reports 7 More Deaths, 84 New Cases
Tarrant County is reporting 84 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the countywide total to 4,643 confirmed cases, including 130 deaths. According to county health officials, 1,586 people in the county have recovered from the disease.
Evictions, Debt Collection Resume In Texas
Starting today in Texas, eviction and commercial debt collection proceedings can resume. The state Supreme Court announced last week it would lift moratoriums blocking these lawsuits from moving forward.
Back in March, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Texas’ highest court suspended evictions and debt collection. Now with the orders lifted, lawsuits can move forward, and by May 26, landlords could start evicting renters. Creditors can also again garnish money from bank accounts to satisfy consumer debts.
Ann Beeson from the left-leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities says that undermines both public health and the state’s economic recovery.
“This is absolutely not the time to be kicking people out of their homes, to be sicking debt collectors on families that are struggling to get food on the table.”
The order — signed by the nine Republican court justices — does safeguard federal stimulus funds from garnishment. There are also temporary protections blocking evictions from homes with federally backed mortgages.
Pier 1 Looks To Close For Good
Pier 1 Imports — one of America's most prominent home-decor chains — is packing it in.
The company, known for its colorful housewares and wicker furniture, declared bankruptcy in February. The coronavirus pandemic forced temporary closures of its approximately 540 stores and dashed its hopes of a recovery.
"This decision follows months of working to identify a buyer who would continue to operate our business going forward," Pier 1's CEO and Chief Financial Officer Robert Riesbeck said in a statement. "Unfortunately, the challenging retail environment has been significantly compounded by the profound impact of COVID-19, hindering our ability to secure such a buyer and requiring us to wind down."
Dallas Small Business Continuity Funds Program Gets $26 Million In Requests, But only has $5 Million To Distribute
The city of Dallas received thousands of applications for its grant and loan program for small businesses affected by COVID-19, but demand has exceeded supply.
City officials say they got 3,900 within a week for the Small Business Continuity Funds program.
Applicants requested more than $26 million — but only $5 million of funding is available.
The average loan request was about $30,000 and the average grant request was about $9,000.
About 40% of applications are from businesses owned by women, and about 40% are owned by African-Americans.
To qualify, businesses must be based in Dallas and must show they saw a 25% drop in revenue due to COVID-19.
Businesses could start getting funding in mid-June.
Monday, May 18
Child Care Centers, Bars And Sporting Events Scheduled For Texas' Next Phase Of Reopening
Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday announced his next wave of reopenings designed to restart the Texas economy during the coronavirus pandemic, saying child care facilities can reopen immediately, bars can open Friday with limited capacity and sporting events can return without fans at the end of the month.
Abbott also said he would permit restaurants to operate at 50% capacity starting Friday, up from 25% that’s allowed now.
At the same time, Abbott exempted two hotspots — Amarillo and El Paso — from his latest decisions, saying they would need to wait a week.
Read the full story from The Texas Tribune.
Dallas County Reports 224 More Cases
Dallas County Health and Human Services is reporting 224 more cases of COVID-19, which brings the countywide total to 7,679. One additional death is reported — a Grand Prairie man in his 60s who had been critically ill in a hospital. A total of 177 people have died in Dallas County from COVID-19.
Tarrant County Reports 112 More Cases
Tarrant County Public Health is reporting 112 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the countywide total to 4,559.
Denton County Reports 19 More Cases
Denton County Public Health is reporting 19 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the countywide total to 1,088.
Collin County Reports 19 More Cases
Collin County Public Health is reporting 19 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the countywide total to 1,047.
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.
Read More: A Timeline Of COVID-19's Spread In North Texas
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