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COVID-19 updates: 17-year-old is youngest to die from virus in Tarrant County, officials say

Tarrant County reported 15 new deaths on Wednesday. Dallas County reported 33, the second-highest number of deaths reported in one day, officials said.

A 17-year-old in Fort Worth is the youngest person to die from COVID-19 in Tarrant County, according to health officials. 

Cook Children's confirmed the teen's death Wednesday afternoon. 

County health officials told WFAA the teen had underlying health conditions and have not released the teen's name. 

In Dallas County, health officials reported 33 deaths Wednesday, making it the second-highest number of deaths reported in one day since tracking began in March. 

Fourteen other deaths were also reported Wednesday in Tarrant County. The people range in age from an Everman man in his 50s to a Fort Worth man in his 90s. 

According to health officials, all of the patients had underlying health conditions. Tarrant County has now surpassed 900 total confirmed deaths since tracking began in March.

Health officials also reported 1,536 cases of COVID-19 Wednesday afternoon, bringing the countywide total to 114,261 confirmed cases since tracking began in March. 

Overall, there are 890 coronavirus patients in area hospitals, according to the county's public dashboard. One month ago there were 628 patients. 

Cook Children's stated there 21 patients currently hospitalized due to the coronavirus. The is the second-highest record, as the hospital had 22 patients during one point in the pandemic, officials said.

The state of Texas said overall, there were 10,930 cases of COVID-19 reported Wednesday, including 273 deaths. 

For a daily roundup of the latest news from around North Texas and beyond, sign up for the WFAA email newsletter.

Dallas County reports 1,348 new cases, 33 additional deaths 

Dallas County health officials reported 1,348 new cases Wednesday, including 258 probable cases. 

Health officials also reported 33 additional deaths from COVID-19, a near-record number of deaths reported on one day. 

The youngest was a man in his 20s and the oldest was a man in his 90s. A majority had underlying high-risk health conditions. 

The deaths reported Wednesday include: 

  • A Dallas man in his 20s
  • A Dallas man in his 30s
  • A Balch Springs woman in her 40s
  • A Dallas man in his 40s
  • A Dallas man in his 50s
  • A Duncanville woman in her 50s who died in a hospital emergency department
  • A Dallas man in his 50s
  • A Dallas woman in her 50s 
  • A Mesquite woman in her 50s
  • A Lancaster man in his 50s
  • A Dallas woman in her 60s
  • A Dallas man in his 60s 
  • A Mesquite woman in her 60s
  • A Mesquite man in his 60s
  • A Lancaster man in his 70s 
  • Four Dallas men in their 70s 
  • A Dallas woman in her 70s
  • Two Dallas men in their 70s who had lived in a long-term care facility, and died there 
  • A Dallas woman in her 80s who did not have underlying health conditions
  • A Dallas man in his 80s who had lived in a long-term care facility 
  • A Dallas man in his 80s
  • A Lancaster woman in her 80s who had lived in a long-term care facility 
  • A Dallas man in his 80s who had lived in a long-term care facility. He died there 
  • A Dallas man in his 80s who had lived in a long-term care facility 
  • A Dallas man in his 90s who had lived in a long-term care facility. He did not have underlying health conditions
  • A Dallas man in his 90s
  • A Dallas man in his 90s who had lived in a long-term care facility 
  • A Hutchins woman in her 90s 
  • A Cedar Hill man in his 90s.

Unless otherwise noted, health officials said most of the people who died had underlying high-risk medical conditions.  

Children's Health said in an emailed statement that the hospital has 14 patients who tested positive for coronavirus as of 3:12 p.m.

Denton County reports record single-day cases

Denton County Public Health announced a record 712 cases of COVID-19 Wednesday afternoon.

“Today’s report, like other record-breaking days Denton County has experienced recently, simply illustrates the reality of this infection,” DCPH Director Dr. Matt Richardson said. “Masks, distancing, and the forthcoming vaccines are the vehicles that will take us to normalcy in 2021, but we must do our part now to ease the burden on our stressed hospitals and ICUs.” 

This is the county’s second record-breaking day in the last three days. Monday the county reported 592 cases. 

Health officials said Denton County has eight ICU beds available. 

Health experts and nurses told WFAA that the recent data is troubling for the county and for North Texas.

“We’re concerned. We really are,” said Melissa Winans, Chief Nursing Officer at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Denton.

“Right now we can safely take care of these patients, but it’s really a call to action to the community to help us slow the spread of this disease,” she said.

RELATED: Why a shortage of ICU beds in Denton County affects all North Texans

Since tracking began in March, health officials have confirmed 27,897 COVID-19 cases, including 161 deaths. 

Collin County reports 435 cases

Collin County health officials reported 435 cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, nearly double the number of cases from reported Tuesday. 

There have been 30,232 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county since tracking began in March. 

DPS expands hours at select driver license offices 

The Texas Department of Public Safety is expanding hours at select license offices beginning next year. 

Officials said it's in an effort to help customers still needing services from closures during the beginning of the pandemic.

Starting Jan. 4, office hours will be expanded to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday. 

Locations in Carrollton, Dallas, Denton, Fort Worth, Garland, Grand Prairie, Hurst, Lake Worth, McKinney, Plano, and Rockwall are included. 

Customers can make appointments online immediately and view more information here. 

Fort Worth ISD employees to receive a stipend for work during pandemic 

The Fort Worth ISD Board of Education announced Tuesday that eligible employees will receive a one-time stipend in recognition of their work during the pandemic.

The trustees voted to allow a stipend of $1,000 for eligible full-time employees and a $500 stipend for part-time employees.

Staff members who have worked with the district since July 1 and are still currently employed will receive the stipend. 

"We are absolutely in awe of how everyone – teachers, principals, nutrition workers, custodians, bus drivers, and all staff have responded, adjusted and supported our kids," President Ramos said.