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Live COVID-19 updates: Dallas closes public libraries, parks and cultural facilities indefinitely

Testing at the American Airlines Center will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 21.
Credit: CDC

This story will be continuously updated throughout the day. 

Residents and staff members of the Texas Masonic Retirement Center in Arlington will be tested for COVID-19. 

Officials say medical responders with the Arlington Fire Department, Texas Department of State Health Services, and Tarrant County Public Health will be conducting the tests Friday. 

The announcement comes after an elderly Arlington man who died Monday had the novel coronavirus. 

Pat James, 77, had undergone testing for COVID-19 on Saturday, two days before he died. He and his wife, Jean, lived in a duplex at the Texas Masonic Retirement Center.  

RELATED: Tarrant County man dies days before positive COVID-19 test results

Dallas closed all public libraries, parks and cultural facilities indefinitely 

The City of Dallas announced Friday evening that it was closing all public libraries, parks, recreation centers, athletic fields, golf courses, tennis courts and cultural facilities indefinitely, in response to the coronavirus crisis in North Texas. 

The City says all programs and events scheduled at any of these venues are suspended until further notice. 

Dallas Public Library staff will be answering phone calls and emails, and curbside pickup up for reserved materials will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. beginning March 23. The library has extended the deadline for borrowed materials to April 30. The outside drop-off boxes are closed. 

Dallas County to receive 4,800 tests for coronavirus 

Friday afternoon, Judge Clay Jenkins said 4,800 test kits for coronavirus will be divided equally between two drive-thru testing locations - American Airlines Center and Davis Field House. 

Testing at the American Airlines Center will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 21. 

The second site at Ellis Davis Field House will open either Sunday or Monday.

Judge Jenkins said in order to be tested, you must be a first responder, medical personnel, or someone with permission from a doctor who is showing symptoms in accordance with the CDC guidelines. 

It takes three days to get test results back. Jenkins said people should follow their doctors instructions during that wait time. 

Tarrant County confirms 10 new cases

Tarrant County health officials confirm there are 10 new cases of COVID-19. This brings the total number of cases to 29. 

Four of the people who recently tested positive live in Arlington, two live in Fort Worth, two live in Lakeside, one lives in Euless and one in Keller.

Officials also say two patients who had COVID-19 have recovered from the disease.  

Plano police officer tests positive for COVID-19

An officer with the Plano Police Department has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to officials. 

Plano officials say the police officer likely became infected with COVID-19 while on a work-related trip out of state. That same officer went into the office for a few hours last Friday, but then went home and has been in self-isolation since then, officials say.

The officer was tested Tuesday and received their results Wednesday. Officials say the employee does not require hospitalization.

Other employees who were on the same work-related trip are also being tested. A commercial cleaning company is expected to sterilize the workplace on Friday, officials say.

Dallas County confirms 19 news cases of COVID-19

Dallas County Health and Human Services reported 19 news cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday morning.

This brings the total number of county residents who have tested positive to 74. This number does not include any out-of-state visitors who were confirmed as positive cases while in Dallas County.

DCHHS released a summary of COVID-19 cases, which can be viewed here.

Rector in Fort  Worth released from quarantine

Reverend Dr. Robert Pace, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Fort Worth has been released from quarantine after receiving two negative tests for COVID-19, diocese officials say. 

On Thursday, The Tarrant County Health Department signed an order releasing Pace from isolation. Diocese officials say Pace is still recovering from pneumonia and can’t talk much because it exacerbates his coughing.

Pace’s wife, Rev. Dr. Jill Walters will now restart a two-week quarantine, diocese officials say. The couple however, will not have to remain separated from one another.

Pace was the first person in Tarrant County to test positive for COVID-19. He became infected after traveling to Kentucky to attend a conference of Episcopal parishes in Louisville from Feb. 19 through Feb. 22. 

A conference attendee later tested positive for COVID-19, but Pace said he did not knowingly have any contact with that person. Pace went to the doctor after beginning to feel ill following his trip.

Click here to read a written statement released by Pace. 

RELATED: Man with 'presumptive positive' case of COVID-19 in Tarrant County identified as Episcopal rector in Fort Worth

Top updates for Friday, March 20:

  • Gov. Greg. Abbott issues executive order telling all Texans to avoid social gatherings and groups of more than 10 people
  • Richardson man in his 60s, who was found dead in his home was confirmed to have COVID-19, Dallas County officials said. His death is the first connected to COVID-19 confirmed in Dallas County. 
  • A Dallas police officer stationed in northeast patrol tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, officials said. That officer is isolated and "is currently doing well," Dallas police officials said. 

Health experts recommend taking the following preventative actions:

  • 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.

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