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Coronavirus live updates: Denton County reports 20 additional cases and 3 additional deaths

Families are urged to stay home this holiday weekend to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Experts believe the peak in Texas is still a few weeks away.
Credit: AP
Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, Dallas Independent School District police officers Gary Pierre directs drivers during the weekly school meal pick-up for students in Dallas, Thursday, April 9, 2020. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in North Texas have exceeded 3,500 and there are at least 75 confirmed deaths.

On Saturday afternoon, Dallas County health officials confirmed an additional 107 people have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total case county to 1,644.

County health officials also reported that two more people have died from coronavirus. The first patient was a Garland man in his 60s and the second patient was a Grand Prairie resident in his 70s.

Both patients had underlying health conditions, officials say.

So far, a total of 27 people in Dallas County have died from the virus.

Judge Clay Jenkins released the following statement after the new information was released:

"This Easter will be different but need not be less special. Easter commemorates the resurrection after a dark and hopeless Friday. Our Sunday is coming North Texas. Just as Americans overcame the pandemic flu of 1918 and WWII, we will come through this and will emerge stronger together."

Top updates for Saturday, April 11:

  • Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday afternoon that Texans appear to be flattening the curve on the spread of the new coronavirus. But he also urged caution saying it is "too early to declare" success.
  • Several cities across North Texas closed parks ahead of Easter weekend to prevent the spread of coronavirus.  
  • The Dallas drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites will be closed on Easter Sunday. Both locations will reopen at 8 a.m. Monday. 

Denton County reports three additional deaths

Denton County Public Health announced Saturday that three more people died from COVID-19, bringing the county's total to 13 deaths. 

The three patients were all residents at the Denton Rehabilitation Center. One woman who died was in her 80s, another woman was in her 60s and a man was in his 80s. 

“The loss of these three lives is almost beyond words as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic in our county,” said Denton County Judge Andy Eads.  “Our thoughts and prayers are with each of their families as they cope with the deaths of their loved ones.”

Health officials also confirmed 20 additional cases, bringing the county's total to 474 cases. 

RELATED: Here are the confirmed coronavirus cases in Denton County

Collin County announces 16 additional cases

Late Saturday afternoon, Collin County health officials confirmed 16 additional positive cases of COVID-19. Officials said there are currently 208 active cases, which includes 26 patients in the hospital and 182 patients at home in isolation. 

Officials said 226 people have recovered from the virus. 

RELATED: Here are the confirmed cases of coronavirus in Collin County

Tarrant County reports four additional deaths

Saturday afternoon, Tarrant County health county officials confirmed four more people died from COVID-19. This brings to the total number of county deaths to 25.

Three of the patients were from Fort Worth. One man who died was in his 60s, another man was in his 70s and a woman was in her late 40s. The fourth patient was in his 80s and lived in Sansom Park. 

Officials say all the patients had underlying health conditions.

RELATED: MAP: These are the confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Dallas-Fort Worth area

Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja is urging residents to stay home as much as possible and follow social distancing guidelines.

“This is a stressful time for all of us, but we will get through it and bend the COVID-19 curve if we all follow the guidelines,” he said.

State health department releases county test totals 

For the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Texas Department of Health and Human Services has provided cumulative test totals for each county.

Prior to the new document being released, testing numbers were posted by overall state totals.

As of April 8, here are the cumulative totals for the four major counties in North Texas:

  • Dallas County- 9,456 tests
  • Tarrant County- 6,290 tests
  • Denton County- 3,207 tests
  • Collin County- 2,605 tests

Totals for other counties Texas can be found by clicking here.

During a Friday interview, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley told WFAA he was frustrated because he didn’t know how many tests had been performed in his county.

“From the very beginning, I have been trying to find a way to determine how many tests are being done, not how many positive tests have come back, but how many tests have been done on a county by county basis. we’ve been unable to get that breakdown,” he said.

Whitley had said he personally spoke to the CEO of Abbot Labs, as well as other companies putting out tests to try to increase Tarrant County’s ability to test and track.

He said he believes it’ll happen in the next two to three weeks.

RELATED: It will be a while before North Texas reopens, but a plan is being mapped out

Dallas closes drive-thru testing site due to weather conditions

Saturday morning, Dallas officials closed one of its drive-thru testing sites due to weather conditions. 

The American Airlines Center site will remain open until 5 p.m., but officials have suspended testing for the rest of the day at the Ellis Davis Field House. 

Both drive-thru testing sites will be closed Sunday and will reopen at 8 a.m. Monday.

RELATED: 'It was worth it': Medication being tested to treat COVID-19 works for Texas woman suspected of having virus

Daily hospital capacity numbers released

A total of 24 hospitals reported ventilator and bed capacity numbers Friday to Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson's office.

The daily numbers are required under new emergency regulations Johnson announced during a news conference in March.

RELATED: Dallas mayor wants daily reports of hospital capacity numbers to track coronavirus needs

Johnson says the data is meant to inform residents about the medical community's capacity to handle an expected increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Below is a list released by the mayor's office of the aggregated totals from 24 hospitals:

  • Total beds: 5,329
  • Beds occupied: 2,861
  • Total ICU beds: 781
  • ICU beds occupied: 479
  • Total ventilators: 899
  • Ventilators in use: 288

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.

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