This story is from April 19. For updates from April 20, click here.
Another person has died in Tarrant County from COVID-19, officials said.
She was a Fort Worth resident in her 50s and had had underlying health conditions. Her death brings the county's death toll to 39 people. The county has had 1,242 cases reported since the outbreak began, with 189 recoveries.
’Sadly, we are seeing the number of deaths continuing to increase and seeing more families being affected by this virus,” said Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja.
Thirteen of those 1,242 cases were new Sunday, prompting some to question how representative that count is of actual infections as more than 100 new cases were reported in Dallas County the same day.
Dallas County reported 104 new cases on Sunday, bringing that county's total to 2,428. No new deaths were reported.
"For your part, please limit those unnecessary trips, wear a face covering at essential businesses and keep making good personal responsibility decisions," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins tweeted.
Across North Texas, nearly 150 people have died since the outbreak began. More than 450 people across the state have died from the disease, while more than 4,800 have recovered, according to state officials.
Dallas County's death toll makes up a large part of that; according to state officials, the county has the second-highest number of deaths in the state, falling only behind Houston's Harris County.
But while Houston has had about twice as many cases reported as Dallas, it's only seen about 10 more deaths, state data shows.
To view a timeline of the reported cases and deaths in Dallas County, click here.
Top updates for Sunday, April 19:
- As of Saturday morning, all Dallas County residents over the age of 2, are now required to wear face-coverings when at essential businesses or using public transit.
- Retail businesses and some medical offices will be allowed to reopen with certain restrictions this week at the state level, Gov. Greg Abbott said. State parks will also reopen starting tomorrow.
- Dallas County had its deadliest week over the past seven days from COVID-19 since the outbreak began, officials said.
For a daily roundup of the biggest coronavirus news from around North Texas and beyond, sign up for the WFAA COVID-19 email newsletter here.
We hear from our Healthcare Heroes
We set up a voicemail and asked our viewers to call in and tell us how they're feeling. This week, we heard from our healthcare heroes fighting for your protection and safety.
You can call us, too, at: 469-616-3835.
Arlington ISD food service employee diagnosed with COVID-19
Arlington ISD confirmed Sunday that a member of its Food & Nutrition Services team tested positive for COVID-19 this week. According to the school district, the employee started showing signs of COVID-19 on Friday and sought medical attention. District officials were notified Sunday morning.
This employee was preparing meals in the kitchen at Swift Elementary School. The person did not come into contact with any family members coming to pick up meals during curbside pickup hours, school district officials said.
The school has now been closed as a feeding site and all other employees have been notified about the positive test.
Hospital capacity remains roughly the same in Dallas, data shows
A little more than half of Dallas' hospital beds are currently occupied, the most recent data from Mayor Eric Johnson's office suggests. Of available ICU beds, 61% are occupied, while about 32.5% of hospital ventilators are in use. These numbers have remained fairly consistent.
A total of 24 hospitals reported ventilator and bed capacity numbers Sunday.
The daily numbers are required under an emergency regulation that Johnson announced last month during a news conference.
Below is a list released by the Dallas mayor's office of the aggregated totals from 24 hospitals in the city:
- Total beds: 5,397
- Beds occupied: 2,858
- Total ICU beds: 783
- ICU beds occupied: 480
- Total ventilators: 898
- Ventilators in use: 292
Health experts recommend taking the following actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Practice "social distancing" and stay at least 6 feet away from others and avoid large public gatherings
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Consult CDC’s travel website for any travel advisories and steps to protect yourself if you plan to travel outside of the U.S.
WFAA digital producer Jake Harris contributed to this report.
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