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Live COVID-19 updates: Dallas County surpasses 1,000 cases of novel coronavirus

More than 5,000 people in the state have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Local leaders urge residents to stay home in the hope of slowing the spread.

This story is from April 4. For updates from April 5, click here.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread throughout the North Texas community as more people get tested each day. 

Saturday afternoon, Dallas County officially surpassed 1,000 cases of COVID-19 when health officials reported that 94 additional people tested positive. 

This brings the total case count to 1,015 in the county. 

County officials also confirmed a Dallas man in his 30s is the latest person to die from the virus. He did not have any underlying health conditions and had been critically ill at a local hospital, according to a news release.

So far, a total of 18 people have died in Dallas County.

"April will be critical. The questions and data are coming at all of us fast, so remember: You are #SaferAtHome, and when you venture out for essential trips or exercise, #SocialDistancingSavesLives. Together North Texas, we will #FlattenTheCurve," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a written statement.

During a news conference Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott said Texas is leading the nation in the number of drive-through test site lanes. 

Abbott also stated that there are nearly 19,700 available hospital beds across the state to treat COVID-19 patients. 

"The State of Texas is ahead of the curve to meet our hospital capacity needs in the coming weeks and months," Abbott said. 

Top updates for Saturday, April 4:

  • New federal guidelines announced Friday recommend for Americans to wear face coverings when in public to help fight the spread of the new coronavirus. 
  • 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 has extended the stay-at-home order until April 30. 
  •  Changes will be coming to Texas grocery stores in the next few weeks. Walmart, Tom Thumb, Kroger, and Albertsons will be installing plexiglass sneeze guards at the registers. Read more changes here.

Second Ellis County resident dies from COVID-19

Ellis County health officials confirmed Saturday an 88-year-old Ennis woman died from the novel coronavirus. 

Officials said the county has confirmed 32 positive cases of COVID-19, which includes 28 active cases, two deaths and two recoveries. 

Denton County announces 15 news positive COVID-19 cases

Denton County health officials announced 15 news laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the county's total to 288 positives cases. 

Officials said the new cases were not associated with the Denton State Supported Living Center. 

Third Collin County resident dies from COVID-19

Collin County health officials confirmed a Frisco woman died Saturday morning due to the novel coronavirus.

County officials say the woman was 67 years old and had an underlying health condition. She is the third person in the county to die from COVID-19.

"We are sad to learn of the death of another member of our Collin County community today," Collin County Judge Chris Hill said in a written statement. "All of us grieve together with her family during this difficult time."

County health officials also announced 12 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the county's total to 268 positive cases. But officials say as of Saturday, 100 of those patients have recovered from the virus. 

RELATED: Here are the confirmed cases of coronavirus in Collin County

Tarrant County reports two additional deaths

Tarrant County health officials have confirmed two more residents have died after testing positive for COVID-19. So far, a total of nine people have died in the county. 

County health officials tell WFAA one of the patients who died was a Southlake man in his 70s who had underlying health conditions. 

The other patient was a Haltom City man in his 30s and did not have any underlying health conditions, officials say.

According to Tarrant County health officials, both patients contracted the virus through community transmission.

"We express our deepest sympathy to the families," Public Health Director Vinny Taneja said. "Sadly, their deaths are a reminder for everyone that we are seeing more COVID-19 disease across our community."

Drive-thru testing site in Dallas closes early

The drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at the Ellis Davis Field House has closed early due to windy and wet weather conditions, city officials announced on Twitter. 

The American Airlines Center test site will remain open through 5 p.m. Saturday. 

The Ellis Davis Fieldhouse location is expected to reopen at 8 a.m. Sunday. 

More Dallas Fire-Rescue employees test positive 

On Saturday morning, Dallas Fire-Rescue officials confirmed there are now a total of seven employees who have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Additional details regarding their current health conditions were not released. 

According to DFR, there are also more than 50 firefighters quarantined at this time. 

The first firefighter who tested positive for COVID-19 was reported on March 22, according to a memo from Dallas Fire-Rescue obtained by WFAA.

RELATED: These are the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Texas first responders

Daily Dallas hospital capacity numbers released 

A total of 21 hospitals reported ventilator and bed capacity numbers Friday to Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson's office. 

The daily numbers are required under new emergency regulations Johnson announced Tuesday during a news conference.

RELATED: Dallas mayor wants daily reports of hospital capacity numbers to track coronavirus needs

Johnson says the data is meant to inform residents about the medical community's capacity to handle an expected increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Below is a list released by the mayor's office of the aggregated totals from 21 hospitals:

  • Total beds: 5,233
  • Beds occupied: 2,686
  • Total ICU beds: 777
  • ICU beds occupied: 422
  • Total ventilators: 886
  • Ventilators in use: 301

City officials reopen public parking lots near White Rock Lake

City of Dallas officials announced they are adjusting their approach when it comes to public parking near White Rock Lake.

On Friday evening, Park and Recreation officials announced they decided to reopen the public parking lots. 

This weekend, they will work with the transportation department, Dallas police and other departments to control and close entry points when the parking lots are full, according to a news release. 

This will include the use of digital signs, staffing, and barricades.

RELATED: City officials to reopen public parking lots near White Rock Lake

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.

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