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As economy slowly reopens, doctors urge public to remember pandemic is ongoing

Texas saw its deadliest day in the fight against COVID-19 on Thursday.

DALLAS — The eyes of the nation are on Texas, as the state gradually begins reopening its economy. And while individuals figure out what works best for them and their safety, doctors are urging people not to forget we're still in the midst of a pandemic.

"It certainly was not a good day yesterday for Dallas and Tarrant counties, North Texas and even Texas in terms of the number of new cases as well as the deaths that were reported," Dr. John Carlo said Friday.

Dr. Carlo is on the Texas Medical Association's COVID-19 Task Force and is the former Dallas County medical director.

On Thursday, Texas saw its highest number of COVID-19 deaths in a single day, with 50 deaths reported. 

Tarrant County also saw a record number of deaths in a day Thursday with seven. On Friday, Tarrant County reported one COVID-19 death.

RELATED: 3 of North Texas' biggest counties report highs in new cases Friday

Dr. Carlo says death rates are especially important to monitor, but they're also complicated. People who die of COVID-19, he said, typically have contracted the disease weeks earlier.

"There is a bit of a lag (in data) and that is a concern," he said. "And that’s why we have to be careful over these next couple of weeks to see what happens next."

He says Texans may continue to see positive cases rise, but points out there will also be more testing.

Dr. Mark Casanova, president of the Dallas County Medical Society, said the pressure is now on the public, not the medical community, to control the spread.

"It’s the wearing of face masks," he said. "It’s utilization of hand sanitizers and hand washing, and then of course the physical distancing."

Dr. Carlo believes North Texans did flatten the curve; the majority of us did not get COVID-19.

However, "that means most of us are still susceptible and at risk for COVID-19 infection," he said, indicating people should take every action they can to prevent another curve from occurring.

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