This story is from May 1. To read the latest updates from May 2, click here.
As Texas takes its first step in reopening, Dallas County and Collin County health officials have reported a new single-day high for COVID-19 case numbers.
And Tarrant County health officials reported a near-record high single-day tally of new coronavirus cases.
Friday afternoon, 187 new cases and two deaths were confirmed in Dallas County. In Tarrant County, 142 new cases were reported and one new death.
Collin County reported 41 new cases of the coronavirus, up from its highest tally of 37 reported in one day. The county also reported a new death.
But Gov. Greg Abbott said he expects new cases of the coronavirus to increase because of more testing. He said he is not alarmed if the percentage of people tested who are positive remains low.
"If we tested 100,000 people tomorrow but only 2,000 people tested positive that would be great news," Abbott told WFAA on Friday.
Under the governor's latest orders, malls, movie theaters, retailers and restaurants were allowed to reopen at 25% capacity Friday morning.
If Phase 1 of reopening businesses goes well, restaurants and retailers will be allowed to open up to 50% capacity as early as May 18.
"The decision to reopen was made on the advice of doctors," Abbott said Friday.
Several local leaders are still urging residents to practice social distancing and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines as the state loosens its restrictions.
"As for me and my family, we will follow the CDC guidelines," said Dallas County Clay Jenkins said Friday afternoon.
State health officials report that there have been 816 deaths due to the novel coronavirus. More than 351,000 tests have been conducted, and 29,229 have been diagnosed with the disease. Of those, about 14,000 have reportedly recovered, according to Texas health data.
Top updates for Friday, May 1:
- Worldwide, more than 1 million people have recovered among 3.2 million confirmed cases.
- City of Dallas officials announced that golf courses, tennis facilities, Elm Fork range, and other facilities will reopen to the public on Friday.
- Parishioners at churches in the Fort Worth Diocese will be allowed to attend mass in person on starting Saturday, while the Dallas Diocese is limiting church building occupancy to 25% and masses will not take place.
For a daily roundup of the biggest coronavirus news from around North Texas, sign up for the WFAA COVID-19 email newsletter.
Tarrant County reports 1 death, 142 new cases
Tarrant County health officials announced 142 new cases of the novel coronavirus, the second-highest single-day tally reported in the county.
One additional death was reported, bringing the countywide total to 69.
Health officials warned that there is a "substantial" level of community spread. The latest tally was reported on the first day of the statewide loosening of stay-at-home orders.
There have been 2,388 total cases of COVID-19 reported in Tarrant County and 551 reported recoveries.
Denton County reports 22nd death
Denton County health officials have reported a new death — the county's 22nd — due to the novel coronavirus.
The person was a woman in her 60s who had been a resident of the Denton Rehabilitation Center. She was previously reported as a hospitalized case.
Collin County reports 41 new cases, 22nd death
An 88-year-old man is the latest person in Collin County to die from COVID-19.
County health officials say the man had underlying health conditions and lived a memory care facility in McKinney.
This marks the 22nd death in the county and is second death to be reported out of the Grand Brook Memory Care facility, according to officials.
Additionally, Collin County officials reported 41 new confirmed cases, the highest one-day report for the county so far.
So far, 766 residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and 509 have recovered.
Dallas County reports record single-day high in new cases
Friday afternoon, 187 new cases and two deaths were confirmed in Dallas County.
This brings the total case count to 3,718 and the death toll to 106.
"Our highest three days have all been this week. This increase in positive cases has occurred without any significant increase in testing capacity," County Judge Clay Jenkins said.
The two victims who died include a Dallas man in his 20s and a man in his 50s who was an inmate at a correctional facility in Hutchins.
Officials say both patients had been critically ill at local hospitals.
“We have seen younger people dying from COVID-19 this week and today’s victims add to that list. All this illustrates why we all must make smart decisions and follow the science to flatten the curve,” Jenkins said.
Dr. Pepper Kuerig confirms 10 employees have tested positive
At the company's Irving facility, 10 employees have been confirmed as positive for COVID-19 since mid-April. A spokesperson said this represents a small percentage of their workforce.
These confirmed cases are in self-quarantine, and any employees who were in close contact with them are also staying home.
The facility has new safety procedures in place, including performing a temperature check and health screening of each employee before they enter work, sanitizing every four hours, requiring face coverings and hand washing every two hours, and maintaining social distancing standards.
Dallas-Fire Rescue says a total of 13 firefighters have tested positive
Dallas officials confirmed an additional case of COVID-19 among firefighters. So far, 13 firefighters have tested positive and 11 those have returned to work.
Forty-five firefighters are quarantined as of May 1 due to coronavirus exposure, on and off-duty.
Two of those have tested positive; the other 43 are either awaiting test results for the exposure source, waiting for a resolution of symptoms or waiting to fulfill the required quarantine period.
Mesquite suspends events in May
All special events and public programs are canceled through May 31 in Mesquite, city officials said Friday.
City council members will discuss when and how to reopen libraries and some park amenities at a meeting May 4. Other programs, including the Mesquite Arts Center, will remain closed throughout May.
The open space and walking trails at parks remain open, but social distancing is required.
It remains unclear what will happen to summer camps and summer activities.
Daily Dallas hospital capacity numbers
The city of Dallas released the following numbers as reported Thursday by 25 hospitals:
- Total beds: 5,710
- Beds occupied: 3,388
- Total ICU beds: 827
- ICU beds occupied: 541
- Total ventilators: 943
- Ventilators in use: 334
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.
More on WFAA:
- 1 million recovered worldwide from COVID-19
- Catholics can return to pews but Fort Worth and Dallas dioceses differ on conducting mass
- A tale of two Dallas restaurants: One that will open Friday and one that won't
- Right on the Money: How online ordering has saved Dickey's Barbecue Pit
- Arlington health department to test residents of retirement community for COVID-19