This story is from April 3. For updates from April 4, click here.
The number of COVID-19 cases across North Texas continues to increase as more people get tested each day. On Thursday, the Dallas-Fort Worth area surpassed 1,500 cases of the novel coronavirus.
Some of the infected patients include first responders, residents at long-term care facilities and inmates.
Friday afternoon, Dallas County health officials confirmed there are 90 additional cases of COVID-19. This brings the total case count to 921.
County officials say 34 cases are associated with five different long‐term care facilities, including three deaths that have been reported. So far, a total of 17 people have died in Dallas County.
Prior to the release of new case numbers, the Dallas County commissioners voted to extend the local disaster declaration until May 20 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
"We are beginning to see some rays of hope that we are benefitting from the Safer at Home order I implemented on March 22nd. The next two weeks are critical to #FlattenTheCurve. Please stay home and save lives," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a written statement.
Top updates for Friday, April 3:
- During a Thursday night news conference, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins called out craft stores — specifically Hobby Lobby — that remained open during the county's emergency order.
- According to Dallas County Health and Human Services, 28% of COVID-19 patients who have required hospitalization in Dallas County are diabetic.
- Costco will start limiting how many customers can come into its stores beginning Friday in a temporary effort to encourage social distancing.
Sixth Denton County resident dies from COVID-19
Denton County health officials confirmed Friday that the county's sixth resident died from COVID-19. Officials said the patient was a woman in her 70s who resided at a nursing facility in Lewisville.
“As we report the loss of a sixth life to COVID-19 in Denton County today, we hope everyone will take a moment to keep our fellow residents affected by this pandemic in your thoughts and prayers,” Denton County Judge Andy Eads said. “The seriousness of taking precautions cannot be overstated. With community spread endemic in our county, we must take the necessary steps to ensure we do not contribute to the problem.”
Officials also said a laboratory confirmed 19 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the county's total to 273.
Second Collin County resident dies from COVID-19
Collin County health officials confirmed late Friday after that its second resident died from COVID-19. Officials said the patient was a 41-year-old Anna, who also had underlying health conditions.
“All of us at Collin County are saddened at the report of a second COVID-19 death within our community,” said Collin County Judge Chris Hill. “To her family, please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Seventh Tarrant County resident dies from COVID-19
Tarrant County health officials confirmed Friday that another resident has died after testing positive for COVID-19.
Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja said the patient was an adult who was a Fort Worth resident with underlying health conditions.
Officials did not release additional details about the patient in an effort to protect their privacy.
So far, a total of 7 people in Tarrant County have died due to the novel coronavirus, officials say.
Dallas County disaster declaration extended to May 20
The Dallas County commissioners voted Friday to extend the local disaster declaration until May 20 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the extended declaration, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins can keep in place the stay-at-home order until then.
The current stay-at-home order is in place until midnight. The City of Dallas has also issued a similar stay-at-home order through April 30.
Sixth Dallas police officer tests positive
Friday morning, the Dallas Police Department announced a sixth officer tested positive for COVID-19. Command staff was informed about the case the day prior, DPD officials say.
The officer who tested positive works in the traffic unit and has not been at work since March 18.
Officials say prior to being tested, the officer informed his supervisor that he wasn’t feeling well. At that point, he made a doctor’s appointment and stayed home because he was not seeing any signs of improvement.
That officer then got tested and received a positive diagnosis, DPD officials say. He remains quarantined at home and his motorcycle used for work will be sanitized by a professional contractor, according to officials.
Officials also stated that a narcotics officer who works out of the DPD headquarters notified a supervisor Thursday that their spouse tested positive for COVID-19.
The narcotics officer will stay quarantined at home for 14 days and has not shown any signs or symptoms of the virus at this time, according to officials.
Out of an abundance of caution, the officer's work-area will also be sprayed and sanitized.
DPD did not release additional details about the two officers in an effort to protect their privacy.
Dallas County health officials release new map
County health officials posted a map Friday morning that shows which zip codes have the most cases of COVID-19. According to the map, zip codes 75115 and 75225 both have 28 to 34 cases of the novel coronavirus.
Annual Dallas Pride festivities postponed
The executive director of Dallas Pride announced Friday that the annual festivities have been postponed until the end of July.
The festivities were originally scheduled for the first weekend in June but have been rescheduled due to COVID-19 concerns.
The Miller Lite Music Festival in the Park, including the Family Pride Zone and Teen Pride, has been rescheduled to Saturday, July 25.
The Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade has been rescheduled to Sunday, July 26. Both events will be held at Fair Park.
The latest updates on Dallas Pride can be found online.
Hobby Lobby in Dallas closes
After receiving a cease and desist letter from Dallas County Thursday evening, Hobby Lobby at Beltline and Preston Roads is now closed.
Up until Friday, they had remained open because of the "considered essential" mask-making materials, educational supplies, and office items.
"I just want to make it clear to Hobby Lobby and anybody who is foolish enough to follow in their footsteps that in Dallas County the government and 99.9% of the business community put public health over profits," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Thursday.
Jenkins encourages residents to report non-essential services staying open by going to the county website at www.dallascountycovid.org.
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.