State and local officials are reporting the highest hospitalizations numbers related to COVID-19 in North Texas and across the state Thursday.
Dallas County recorded its highest COVID-19 hospitalizations ever with 423 patients, according to health officials.
There were also 392 new cases and 5 more deaths reported in the county. The victims range from a woman in her 50s to a man in his 90s who lived at a long-term care facility.
Tarrant County also reported its highest number of hospitalized patients with 283.
There are 899 people hospitalized in North Texas for COVID-19 and 2,947 hospitalizations across the state, according to data from the Department of State Health Services.
Those are higher than Wednesday's record of 859 hospitalizations in North Texas and 2,793 statewide.
Those are up 73% and 95% in the three and a half weeks since Memorial Day.
The North Texas region has the most patients being treated for COVID-19 across the state. The Houston area region has the second-most patients hospitalized for COVID-19 with 839.
Despite a rise in the seven-day rolling average in statewide hospitalizations, on Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott said, "There's no reason to be alarmed...we remain at the lowest threat level of our hospital capacity."
Top updates for Thursday, June 18:
- A group of Texas mayors have asked Gov. Greg Abbott to allow local governments to require face masks in public, including a number in North Texas.
- Dallas County saw a record jump in positive COVID-19 cases on Wednesday with 413.
- Student-athletes at five North Texas school districts have tested positive for COVID-19; that canceled the districts' summer workout programs.
Testing sites in Dallas report long wait times
Around 3:15 p.m. Thursday, City of Dallas officials posted on Twitter that community-based testing sites were experiencing higher wait times than usual.
City officials told residents they should be prepared to wait two hours or longer.
Residents are encouraged to visit other testing sites throughout Dallas that may have shorter wait times. The locations can be found here.
Tarrant County reports 6 deaths
Tarrant County health officials reported 277 new cases and 6 more deaths related to COVID-19.
The victims include a man in his 80s, a woman in her 50s and a woman in her 90s, all from Keller, a woman in her 50s and a woman in her 80s, both from Arlington and a man in his 80s from Mansfield.
All of the victims had underlying health conditions, officials say.
There have been 205 confirmed deaths and 3,627 people have recovered since testing began in March.
Collin County reports 101 new cases
State health officials reported 101 new positive cases in Collin County Thursday, raising the county total to 1,967 since tracking began in March. There are currently 614 active cases in the county.
There have been 38 deaths related to COVID-19 in the county.
City of Dallas playgrounds and pools to reopen Friday
Playgrounds and pools operated by the city of Dallas will reopen Friday, city officials said.
Playgrounds will be sanitized and operate as usual. Parents are urged to used sanitizer and/or wipes after contact with the equipment.
There will be no daily sanitization of the playground equipment; it will be cleaned according to the regular cleaning schedule.
Pools will be open, but the amenities, such as the concession stand and rock climbing will be closed at locations where available. Showers will have limited access.
Catholics can attend in-person Sunday mass starting June 28
Catholics can return to Sunday mass in-person later this month after only attending online mass since late April, the diocese announced Thursday.
Starting June 28, attendance will be restricted to 50% capacity to align with social distancing and health and safety protocols, the Catholic Diocese of Dallas said.
The Dallas diocese previously restricted Sunday mass to online-only and scheduled confessions. The church has been open for private prayer with capacity limits.
Saturday masses can continue at 50% capacity starting June 27. Weekday masses will continue at 50% capacity.
"Those attending Mass are strongly encouraged to wear proper face coverings, following local civil orders where appropriate," the diocese said.
People should bring their own hand sanitizer.
The Catholic Diocese of Dallas serves 1.3 million Catholics to 77 churches in the nine counties.
City of Dallas receives 30,000 masks donated by Taiwanese government
The city accepted a donation of 30,000 face masks from the government of Taiwan Thursday morning, Mayor Eric Johnson tweeted.
Of the donation, 20,000 masks will go to Parkland Hospital and 10,000 will go to local homeless shelters, Johnson said.
"I think short of finding a vaccine of COVID-19, these masks today are our greatest tool in fighting this disease and the spread," Johnson said.