This story will be continuously updated on June 21.
Tarrant County health officials reported a new single-day record for North Texas with 444 new COVID-19 cases confirmed Sunday.
Dr. Vinny Taneja, the director of Tarrant County's Health Department, told WFAA that this is an indication of a significant surge in cases across the county.
“It does bother us that the work we all did as a community is kind of coming undone," Taneja said. “This is a three-week trend, so it’s sustained and it’s increasing so this is getting serious for Tarrant County.”
The countywide total number of cases now stands at 8,955, which includes 208 deaths and 4,160 recoveries.
“These pandemics are unforgiving. Unfortunately, that’s the reality that if you let your foot off the brakes, this thing takes off," Taneja said.
It's not just due to increased testing. The percent of people testing positive has been increasing for weeks in Tarrant County and the state's positivity rate has doubled in the past 4 weeks.
State and local officials also reported the highest hospitalizations numbers related to COVID-19 in North Texas and across the state Sunday.
Dallas Co noted about half its cases this month are people 18-39. Taneja has seen a similar trend.
“Now you’re seeing this huge upsurge in the younger age group," Taneja said. "People were sick and tired of being at home so now we have a lot of people out. We had a lot of graduations that happened.”
That was true in Tarrant County as well, where the number of patients hospitalized rose to 275 on Saturday, according to health officials, the second highest the number has bee since tracking began in March. It had reached a new record on June 18, when patients totaled 283.
The simple tip that can help: wear a mask.
“That’s what I want people to do is care about others in a simple act as putting on a mask," Taneja said. "If everybody participates, we will see a decline, in the rate of transmission.”
Top updates for Sunday, June 21:
- Dallas County implemented a new order requiring people to wear masks. Here's what you need to know.
- Experts say we're still in the first wave of COVID-19 cases.
- Gov. Greg Abbott says he supports making to-go alcohol sales permanent in Texas after allowing them to help restaurants and bars weather pandemic closures.
Dallas County reports 408 new cases, 1 death
Dallas County health officials reported 408 news COVID-19 cases and one additional death Sunday.
There has been a countywide total of 16,845 cases and 314 deaths since testing started in March.
The additional death reported Sunday was a Dallas woman in her 60s. Health officials said she had been critically ill in a local hospital, and she had underlying health conditions.
Officials also said the increasing amount of COVID-19 cases in the county are being diagnosed in young adults between the ages of 18 and 39.
The City of Dallas released the following numbers of hospital bed capacities as reported by 25 hospitals Sunday:
Total beds: 6,083
- Beds occupied: 4,213
Total ICU beds: 941
- ICU beds occupied: 691
Total ventilators: 960
- Ventilators in use: 332
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says the rising numbers are evidence residents should continue to wear masks and practice “good personal responsibility decisions,” especially when out at local businesses.
Counties across the state are trying to stop the spread of COVID-19 by amending ordinances relating to wearing face coverings.
Friday, Dallas County commissioners voted 3-2 to pass an ordinance requiring businesses to require workers and customers to wear masks while shopping in their facilities.
Other counties have passed similar orders in other parts of the state.
Denton County reports 50 new cases
Denton County Public Health reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday, bringing the countywide total to 2,163 cases, including 36 deaths.
DCPH says its hosting a free drive-thru COVID-19 testing center in Denton on Tuesday, June 23. The testing center will be held at the University of North Texas’ Union Circle Parking Garage at 350 S. Welch Street from 8 a.m. to noon.
Princeton ISD employee tests positive after participating in summer workouts
An employee of Princeton Independent School District tested positive for the novel coronavirus, district officials announced on Saturday. The employee had been "associated" with the summer strength and condition program.
While the employee was mainly working at the high school, he also visited campus workouts at Southard and Clark middle schools, officials said.
As a result, the workouts will be suspended for two weeks, starting on Monday. The UIL's mandatory break will then take effect, so workouts will not resume util July 13, according to district officials.
Employees are in the process of contacting each athlete, and anyone who had contact with the case will be asked to quarantine for 14 days.
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.