DALLAS — On the heels of Gov. Greg Abbott's announcement to end the mask mandate and allow restaurants to open at 100% capacity, Dallas County has reached a grim milestone of surpassing 3,000 coronavirus-related deaths Tuesday.
Dallas County health officials reported that 25 more residents died from COVID-19, bringing the countywide total to 3,018 confirmed deaths today.
The deaths included both men and women who ranged in age from 50 to over 90.
County Judge Clay Jenkins called the governor's decision on reopening Texas "unfortunate."
"For us here in North Texas, and for all Texans, we need to focus not on what the governor tells you the law allows, but on what doctors and the facts and the science that we all know well at this point tell us is necessary to keep us safe and give us our best chance of reaching herd immunity as quickly as possible," said Jenkins during Zoom call with WFAA Tuesday.
Health officials also reported 526 cases of COVID-19, of which 162 are considered probable from antigen tests. This brings the countywide total to 246,310 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since tracking began in mid-March of 2020.
For a daily roundup of the latest news from around North Texas and beyond, sign up for the WFAA email newsletter.
Tarrant County reports 14 coronavirus-related deaths
Tarrant County Health officials reported 14 coronavirus-related deaths Tuesday. The latest victims range from a Fort Worth man in his 40s to a Hurst man older than 90.
According to health officials, all of the victims had underlying health conditions. There has been a total of 2,897 confirmed deaths since tracking began in March 2020.
The county is forecasted to go over the 2,900-death mark from COVID-19 Wednesday, and following the governor's announcement to reopen Texas, County Judge Glen Whitley also rescinded the county's mask order.
“There's absolutely nothing I can do about it. [Abbott] did it. It's his decision,” Whitley said. “And he basically did it in such a way as to not allow local officials to deal with their local areas.”
The county also reported 429 new coronavirus cases and an increase in hospitalizations. According to Tarrant County's public dashboard, there are currently 448 patients hospitalized due to COVID-10 compared to 430 the day prior.
The hospitalizations reported Tuesday however are an improvement compared to the data from one month ago. On Feb. 1, there were 1,063 hospitalizations due to COVID-19.
Tarrant County reports that as of Feb. 24, more than 296,000 residents have received the COVID-19 vaccine. At least 101,000 of those residents have received both doses, according to the county's dashboard.
Denton County reports 13 deaths
Denton County health officials said 13 more residents died from the COVID-19 Tuesday, bringing the countywide total to 420 confirmed deaths since tracking began in mid-March 2020.
The deaths included men and women who ranged in age from 40 to over 80.
DCPH also announced 475 cases of COVID-19, of which 441 are active. This brings the countywide total to 65,171 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since tracking began in mid-March 2020.
But following the governor's announcement to reopen Texas at 100%, Denton County officials said they would follow the state guidelines to allow all businesses to operate at 100%, and lift the mask mandate beginning March 10.
Johnson & Johnson vaccine at Fair Park
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a tweet Tuesday the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will be administered beginning this week at Fair Park for people who are eligible and have appointments.
He said 600 of the vaccines will be transferred to Parkland Hospital so that homeless residents and people in jail that are in group 1B can receive the vaccine as well.