This story is from March 28. For updates from March 29, click here.
Dallas County health officials have confirmed an additional 72 people have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total case count to 439 in the county.
Health officials also reported two new deaths. This means as of Saturday morning, a total of nine people in Dallas County have died from the novel coronavirus.
One of the patients who died was a DeSoto resident in his 50s and the other patient was a Dallas resident in his 70s, officials say.
Both men were in critical condition at local hospitals.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says the man in his 50s did not have any known underlying medical conditions.
“This serves as a sober reminder that COVID-19 is a dangerous disease for everyone and is why it’s so important that we all need to stay home to stay safe,” Jenkins partially said in a written statement.
Saturday afternoon, Tarrant County officials also confirmed they now have a total of 128 positive cases. This is 14 more patients from the case count provided the day before.
Tarrant County officials, however, did not release details regarding the new patients.
Top headlines for Saturday, March 28:
- McKinney resident files lawsuit against mayor over COVID-19 emergency order
- Denton officials say 39 residents tested positive for COVID-19 at a living facility for people with intellectual disabilities
- Dallas officials say 36% of COVID-19 hospitalized patients have required admission to intensive care units.
Two Texas U.S. Postal workers test positive for COVID-19
Saturday evening, the U.S. Postal Service confirmed that two employees, including one at Huffhines Park Post Office and another at the Dallas Network Distribution Center tested positive for COVID-19.
The Huffhines Park Post Office is located at 1206 Apollo Road in Richardson, and the Dallas Network Distribution Center is located at 2400 Dallas Forth Worth Turnpike.
The U.S. Postal Service sent WFAA the following statement:
"We are in the process of reaching out to the local public health offices and will follow the guidance they provide. We believe the risk is low for employees who work at both the Huffhines Park Post Office and at the Dallas Network Distribution Center, but we will keep our employees apprised as new information and guidance becomes available."
Collin County reports 11 additional positive COVID-19 cases
Saturday evening, Collin County health officials confirmed 11 positive COVID-19 cases, bringing the county's total to 128. Officials said one of those patients has been hospitalized.
The patients include four Plano residents -- 27-year-old man, 32-year-old man, a 35-year-old man, and a 55-year-old woman. Three Dallas residents -- a 26-year-old woman, a 47-year-old woman and a 51-year-old woman. Two McKinney residents -- a 65-year-old woman and a 95-year-old woman who was hospitalized with no travel history or known contact with another confirmed case. One Frisco resident -- a 61-year-old woman. And lastly, one Lucas resident -- a 68-year-old man.
Rockwall County reports 4th positive case of COVID-19
Rockwall County Office of Emergency Management confirmed Saturday that the county's fourth positive case of COVID-19 was a resident from the City of Fate.
Two more Dallas firefighters test positive for COVID-19
Two Dallas firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total at the department to three, according to Dallas Fire-Rescue captain and president of the Dallas Firefighters Association Jim McDade.
McDade says following the positive tests results, 34 firefighters have been quarantined.
McDade also says nine firefighters have been tested and of those were the three positive results, two negative and four pending.
The first firefighter that tested positive for COVID-19 was reported on March 22.
Denton County confirms second COVID-19 related death
Denton County Public Health announced Saturday a second person had died from COVID-19. Health officials say the man, who was in his 60s, was a resident of Aubrey. He was previously hospitalized after local transmission of the virus.
DCPH also announced 11 additional lab-confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, including a resident from the Denton State Supported Living Center. That brings the total of residents with COVID-19 at the facility to 40. The countywide total is 148.
Hood County rideshare driver tests positive for novel coronavirus
A rideshare driver is the third person in Hood County to test positive for the novel coronavirus, officials say.
Hood County officials confirmed that the patient got tested earlier this week after experiencing a fever and respiratory illness symptoms.
Originally, county officials said the patient worked in the transportation industry but later confirmed the person is a rideshare driver.
Hood County officials believe the driver was exposed to COVID-19 through a passenger in the D-FW area.
WFAA has reached out to various rideshare companies to confirm additional details.
"The rideshare company was notified by the driver as soon as public health authorities were aware, and the rideshare company is working with local public health organizations, including notification to all past riders to provide appropriate advice on COVID-19 isolation precautions and medical follow up if needed," Hood County officials said in a written statement.
The rideshare driver was briefly hospitalized and has been discharged home with the proper medical gear, according to county officials.
At this time, the patient and family members are quarantined at home.
The two other coronavirus cases in Hood County were contracted by an overseas cruise and airline travel, officials say.
Gov. Abbott waives select licensing regulations for pharmacists, technicians
Gov. Greg Abbott announced Saturday afternoon that he is waiving certain licensing renewal regulations for pharmacists, technicians, and technician trainees in Texas.
The governor says he will temporarily extend the expiration dates for licenses and temporarily suspend continuing education requirements for pharmacists during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Abbott says it is important for Texans to have access to these services to meet daily needs during the crisis.
“With these waivers, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians can continue to meet the needs of their fellow Texans without potential delays caused by an expired license,” Abbott said in a written statement.
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:
- Pricey toilet paper? Consumers complain about price gouging during COVID-19 crisis
- VERIFY: Fact-checking this week's coronavirus claims
- How some North Texas counties are responding to the new coronavirus
- Pieces of Positivity: Family paints rocks for their neighborhood during COVID-19 shelter-in-place
- Do I have to stay inside? Here's how North Texas counties are handling COVID-19