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COVID-19 live updates: More than 100 coronavirus-related deaths reported in North Texas

Dallas County health officials reported the highest number of single-day deaths yet.

This story is from April 14, click here to view the latest updates from April 15. 

North Texas has surpassed 100 deaths related to coronavirus after new numbers were released by officials in Dallas and Tarrant counties on Tuesday.

Tarrant County health officials announced four more deaths Tuesday morning, for a total of 29 confirmed deaths related to coronavirus among residents.

All four victims had resided in Fort Worth. One was a man in his 70s and three others were in their 80s, two men and one woman.

Tuesday afternoon, Dallas County health officials also announced 10 more deaths. This brings the death toll to 42 in Dallas County.

It is the highest number of single-day deaths reported in the county during the coronavirus crisis.

Dallas County health officials also reported that 89 more people have tested positive, bringing the total case count to 1,877.

Below is a list of the 10 patients who died from COVID-19 in Dallas County:

  • A man in his 60s, a man in his 70s and a man in his 80s. All three men were residents at long-term care facilities in Dallas and had been critically ill at local hospitals.
  • Two women who were also residents at Dallas long-term care facilities died. One woman was in her 50s and one woman was in her 90s.
  • Two men in their 50s, both lived in Dallas and were critically ill at local hospitals.
  • A man in his 30s who lived in Garland and had been critically ill at a local hospital.
  • A woman in her 80s who lived in Mesquite and had been hospitalized at a local hospital.
  • A man in his 80s who was a DeSoto resident and was found dead at home.

Earlier Tuesday, Jenkins had told Texas Tribune political reporter Patrick Svitek that the new deaths would be reported in Dallas County.

"We're announcing 10 deaths. We're going to have a lot of new illnesses, and I don't know what that number is yet because the labs haven't reported," Jenkins said.  

"But I think it would be pretty easy for people to realize this isn't over," he said. 

More than 4,000 North Texans have tested positive for COVID-19. The first case in the Dallas-Fort Worth area was confirmed on March 9 in Collin County. 

The state is getting closer to what local officials believe will be "the peak" in cases.

However, during a news conference Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott said he's optimistic that the curve is flattening in the state.  

And while local health officials have said the curve likely won't flatten until late April or early May, Abbott said new cases seem to have peaked across Texas.

Top updates for Tuesday, April 14:

  • Tarrant County health officials announced four more deaths related to coronavirus. They include a man in his 70s, two men in their 80s and a woman in her 80s. All had underlying health conditions.
  • According to researchers, a new serological coronavirus test could be critical for ending national lockdowns. Researchers and experts say they're cheaper, quicker and easier to use than swab tests. 
  • Oak Cliff, Cedar Crest, South Dallas, and West Dallas may be the most vulnerable Dallas neighborhoods to the COVID-19 pandemic, new research from UTHealth suggests. 
  • The recently passed COVID-19 federal economic relief payments, commonly known as "stimulus checks," have started to go out. The IRS has also launched an online tool where Americans can enter their bank details and get a check electronically instead of having to wait for it in the mail.

James L. West Center for Dementia Care patient tests positive for COVID-19

A patient at the James L. West Center for Dementia Care in Fort Worth tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday, the center confirmed.

“We isolated this resident in a manner prescribed by the CDC and, based upon the recommendations of the Tarrant County Public Health Department, are treating the resident on site," CEO Dr. Cheryl Harding wrote in a news release.

Citing HIPPA laws, Harding said she could not release any more information about the patient. 

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says Dallas is 'in the middle' of its coronavirus fight

Three weeks to the day after Dallas County’s stay-at-home order went into effect, the county announced 10 COVID-19 related deaths, its highest one-day total.

In a news conference Tuesday, Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Phillip Huang said the spike in deaths isn't alarming.

“Probably these deaths represent maybe infections that occurred a couple weeks ago. We can expect that these might continue to increase for a while,” Huang said.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins also urged Dallasites to continue to practice social distancing as the county approaches the peak of the disease, and he also issued a stern warning to anyone who abuses children, which has been a growing problem as more children and parents are sheltering in place. 

RELATED: 3-year-old Fort Worth boy dies from 'severe child abuse' Easter morning

"If we are down to our last police officer, YOU are the person we are coming to get if you hurt your family," Jenkins said during the question-and-answer portion of the news conference. "If you hurt your family, what we will give you is not necessarily grace. God help you if you hurt a child or your family."

Read more about the Tuesday news conference here.

Fort Worth seeks homemade mask donations

The City of Fort Worth is asking for donations of homemade masks to protect essential workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fort Worth officials say while the City has ordered manufactured masks, the demand is so high that some orders may not be fulfilled for months.

The collection drive for the homemade masks will begin Wednesday. The donated masks will then be distributed to essential City workers.

Masks may be dropped off at any time into the book drops at the following Fort Worth Public Library locations:

  • Central Library at 500 West 3rd Street
  • Southwest Regional Library at 4001 Library Lane
  • Northwest Branch Library at 6228 Crystal Lake Drive

RELATED: City of Fort Worth seeks homemade mask donations for employees during COVID-19 crisis

Johnson County now at 39 cases

County officials announced there were four new cases in the county, bringing the total to 39 since the outbreak began. Twenty cases have been out of Burleson, five in Cleburne and one each in Mansfield, Keene, Venus and Joshua. Ten cases have also been reported in unincorporated Johnson County.

Federal appeals court allows medication abortions

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will allow medication abortions to continue in Texas during the pandemic, The Texas Tribune reports. It's the latest ruling as state officials have tried to prevent abortions under the governor's emergency orders prohibiting elective medical procedures.

Read more about it here.  

Golf courses to reopen in Denton County

Denton County Commissioners have voted unanimously to reopen golf courses.

During Tuesday morning’s meeting, Judge Andy Eads announced they would post rules online with language that clarifies how golf courses can remain open.

The reopening of the golf courses will remain in compliance with the governor’s executive order and also that of the AG’s opinion, Eads said.

More than 50% of Dallas ICU beds occupied

More than 50% of ICU beds in Dallas hospitals are being occupied, according to data released by Mayor Eric Johnson's office.

Twenty-five hospitals reported ventilator and bed capacity numbers to Johnson’s office on Monday. This is the highest number of hospitals that have reported capacity data since Johnson made it a daily requirement in late March.

Monday's data shows that 485 out of 854 ICU beds are occupied.

Below is an aggregate list of totals from the 25 hospitals:

  • Total beds: 5,771
  • Beds occupied: 2,888
  • Total ICU beds: 854
  • ICU beds occupied: 485
  • Total ventilators: 931
  • Ventilators in use: 290

DART launches new delivery service for paratransit riders

Dallas Area Rapid Transit has launched a special grocery pickup and delivery service for paratransit customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The service began Monday and is for people with disabilities who are unable to use DART buses or trains at this time. 

To use the service, which is free of charge, customers must place their orders directly with their preferred grocery store and provide DART with the pickup ID information. 

Then, a DART paratransit driver will pick up the groceries and deliver them directly to the customer. 

Residents who are interested in the service or to learn more call DART Mobility Ambassadors at 214-828-8588.

RELATED: DART launches new grocery delivery service for paratransit riders

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.

WFAA Digital Producers Jennifer Prohov and Eline de Bruijn contributed to this report.

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