This story is from April 30. To view the latest updates from May 1, click here.
Dallas and Tarrant counties reported 11 coronavirus-related deaths and 276 new cases Thursday afternoon.
The statewide stay-at-home order expires at midnight, paving the way for some businesses to reopen Friday.
Malls, movie theaters, retailers and restaurants will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity.
Gov. Greg Abbott is also allowing in-person church services to resume with proper social distancing.
Bars, gyms, salons and barbershops will remain closed under the latest order.
But in Dallas County, the highest number of new cases were announced in a single day.
According to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, epidemiologists believe the increased numbers stem from a change in CDC guidelines that allows frontline workers to be tested without exhibiting any symptoms.
“With the Governor’s order set to open still more businesses tomorrow, your smart decisions to protect you, your family, and the community are more important than ever. It’s beautiful weather and we’ve been cooped up for over a month but the underlying advice based on science from the health experts has not changed," he stated.
In Tarrant County, health officials reported seven deaths and 97 new cases.
"It underscores our responsibility to work together to protect everyone, especially those who are most vulnerable," said Tarrant County Health Director Vinny Taneja in a written statement.
Several local leaders are still urging residents to practice social distancing and follow CDC guidelines as the state prepares to partially reopen.
Top updates for Thursday, April 30:
- Roughly 30.3 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the six weeks since the coronavirus outbreak began forcing millions of employers to close their doors.
- American Airlines reported Thursday that revenue fell 19% while costs continued to rise even as the virus spread.
- As Texas prepares to partially allow businesses to reopen on Friday, self-made billionaire and NBA owner Mark Cuban says the state may be moving too fast.
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 7 deaths, 97 new cases
Health officials reported 97 new cases of the novel coronavirus in Tarrant County and seven deaths.
Since cases were first reported in March, 485 people have recovered from the disease, health officials said. The death toll is up to 68.
The latest deaths reported include a woman in her 90s, two women in their 80s, three men in their 70s and a man in his 50s.
Dallas County reports 5 deaths, 179 new cases
Thursday afternoon, Dallas County health officials announced the highest number of single-day cases reported during the COVID-19 pandemic.
County health officials say 179 additional residents have tested positive and five more people have died. This brings the total case count to 3,531 and the death toll to 104.
The five victims who died include a Balch Springs man in his 20s, a Dallas man in his 60s, and three residents at long-term care facilities in Dallas.
Those patients include a man in his 70s, a woman in her 80s, and a woman in her 90s.
“All of the above information points to the importance of limiting unnecessary shopping trips and avoiding crowds in this worsening situation,” Jenkins said.
Ellis County reports 12 additional cases, announces one-day testing clinic
Health officials for Ellis County confirmed 12 additional positive COVID-19 cases on Thursday. This increases the total to 179 county-wide.
The new cases include two pairs who live together: a 64-year-old man and 62-year-old woman in Bardwell and a 71-year-old man and 68-year-old woman in Midlothian.
In addition, the following are confirmed positive for COVID-19: a 41-year-old Ennis woman, a 19-year-old Ferris woman, a 42-year-old Red Oak woman, and two Waxahachie residents: a 26-year-old man and a 48-year-old woman.
There have been three additional cases at Legends Oaks Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Waxahachie, for a total of 26 at the facility. The new cases include a 69-year-old woman, an 81-year-old woman and a 93-year-old man.
There have also been 12 more recoveries, the Ellis County Local Health Authority said.
Additionally, Ellis County announced a free one-day mobile testing clinic Saturday at the Waxahachie Sports Complex.
The tests will be available by appointment only to individuals with at least one of the following symptoms:
- Fever and/or chills
- Cough (Dry or Productive)
- Body aches/muscle or joint pain
- Shortness of Breath
- Sore Throat
- Nasal Congestion
- Loss of Taste and/or Smell
Appointments can be scheduled starting Friday at 8 a.m. by phone at (512) 883-2400 or online at https://txcovidtest.org/.
Those tested will receive their results by phone.
Collin County reports 1 death, Rockwall County reports 2 new cases
An 84-year-old McKinney resident has died of the novel coronavirus, according to Collin County health officials.
The man had underlying health conditions and died Monday at a McKinney hospital, officials said. His is the 21st death in Collin County.
In Rockwall County, officials reported two new coronavirus cases. Both are people in their 30s.
Dallas will reopen golf courses, other outdoor facilities Friday
City of Dallas officials announced that golf courses, tennis facilities, Elm Fork range and other facilities will reopen to the public on Friday.
According to a news release, residents will be required to follow strong social distancing and sanitary protocols at the select locations.
Below is a list of usage restrictions released by county officials:
- Allow only one golfer per cart unless the other rider is a child aged 10 or under
- Restrict tee time reservations to online or by phone only – no walkups
- Restrict tee times to group sizes of foursomes (four players at a time) only
- Restrict access to the pro shops to pro shop staff only and no more than four customers at a time
- Golf pros will clean and sanitize carts after each rental and before being checked out
- Restrict access to the pro shop to no more than two players at a time
- Pros will clean and sanitize rental equipment between users
Elm Fork Gun Range
- Place 6’ markings for points where lines form
- Open only every other shooting lane for rental – providing for greater than 6’ of distancing
- Remove group seating areas
- Allow for call-in food orders only
Outdoor Programs (e.g. Fitness Camps)
- Provide a minimum of 12' between participants with clearly identified workout locations
- Ensure equipment is wiped down and sanitized after each use and before issuing to the next participant
More information on each facility can be found here.
Daily hospital capacity numbers
The city of Dallas released the following numbers as reported Wednesday by the 25 hospitals:
- Total beds: 5,709
- Beds occupied: 3,336
- Total ICU beds: 827
- ICU beds occupied: 550
- Total ventilators: 943
- Ventilators in use: 330
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:
- Here’s what is reopening in Texas as Phase 1 begins Friday
- 30 million people have sought US jobless aid since virus hit
- Grand Prairie Warriors get socially distant Senior Night
- Weatherford nurse gets 'welcome home' parade after returning from treating coronavirus patients in New York City
- Mark Cuban talks Texas reopening: 'Would you let your kids out? I'm not letting mine.'