17-year-old Lancaster girl among Dallas County’s latest 10 coronavirus victims

Dallas News

Updated at 4:30 p.m.: Revised to include additional details from Denton County.

A 17-year-old Lancaster girl died of complications related to the coronavirus, making her the youngest COVID-19 victim in Dallas County, officials announced Tuesday.

The teenager’s death was among 10 reported Tuesday by Dallas County, bringing the total to 94. She died in a hospital’s emergency department before she could be admitted, County Judge Clay Jenkins said.

Jameela Dirrean-Emoni Barber(Lancaster ISD)

Lancaster ISD identified her as Jameela Dirrean-Emoni Barber, who would’ve been a senior at Lancaster High School in the fall.

Superintendent Elijah Granger said in a letter to the community that Jameela was a well-rounded student who was part of the National Honor Society and involved with JROTC. She was positive and well-liked, and “her diligent efforts were recognized in all that she pursued,” the superintendent said.

“Her absence leaves us with fond memories, and the unexplainable sadness of a life gone too soon,” Granger said. “While we will strive to move forward, this day in our district is marked by pain and despair.

The teenager’s death was the first reported COVID-19 death in the city of Lancaster, located in southern Dallas County, officials said.

Lancaster Mayor Clyde C. Hairston offered prayers for the girl’s family in a statement Tuesday.

“It is devastating to see the havoc this virus has put on our community both young and old,” Hairston said.

Jameela had no known underlying health conditions, a city spokeswoman said.

It is with a heavy heart that we are informing you of the loss of a 17-year-old female from our community due to COVID-19. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/0y6QGNa1nq

— City of Lancaster (@Lancaster_TX) April 28, 2020

The city urged residents to continue to practice guidelines recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Tuesday tied April 14 for the most deaths reported in a single day in Dallas County during the pandemic.

The other deaths included: a Dallas man in his 30s, a Garland man in his 30s, a Carrollton man in his 40s, a Lancaster man in his 40s, a man in his 60s who was an inmate at a state prison and a Dallas man in his 70s. All had been hospitalized.

The county also reported three deaths of Dallas residents who lived in long-term care facilities: a woman in her 70s, a man in his 80s and a man in his 90s. About 40% of the total deaths in Dallas County have been linked to long-term care facilities.

Dallas County reported 135 new positive coronavirus cases Tuesday — its most reported in a single day — bringing the total to 3,240.

Of the cases of people sickened by the coronavirus who have reported their employment, 77% were “critical infrastructure workers,” which the county defined as people who work in health care, public health, food and agriculture, public works or other essential work.

Jenkins said residents and business owners in North Texas must be “particularly careful in making their best personal responsibility choices,” given Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement Monday that some businesses could reopen by the end of the week.

He said the White House and public-health experts said safety precautions shouldn’t be loosened until widespread testing is available and numbers of deaths and new cases have declined for two weeks.

“Unfortunately, none of these criteria have been met in either the state or in North Texas,” Jenkins said in a written statement. “Remember, the governor’s orders may change but the underlying science will not. I strongly recommend everyone take their advice from the CDC and local health authorities as to what is safe for them, their families and our broader community.”

Tarrant County

Tarrant County reported five COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, bringing its total to 58.

The deceased were two men in their 60s from Fort Worth, an Arlington woman in her 70s, and Arlington woman in her 90s, and a man in his 80s from Grapevine, health officials said.

The county reported 69 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the total to 2,088. The county has also reported 289 recoveries from the virus.

“Every loss of life to this disease is difficult for us to report, and we are sad for the families and friends of those who are lost,” Vinny Taneja, the county’s health director, said in a written statement.

Denton County

Officials reported 13 new COVID-19 cases in Denton County on Tuesday.

There have been 738 total cases of the disease, with nearly half of the patients — 358 — now recovered. Twenty Denton County residents have died from the virus.

The county will have its first drive-through testing site from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, at 535 S. Loop 288 in Denton. It will offer up to 200 tests.

To get a test, residents must have shown symptoms of COVID-19 in the past week, including a cough, fever, shortness of breath, muscle pain, sore throat or loss of smell or taste. Eligible residents must call 940-349-2585 to register in advance.

Collin County

Two elderly men were the 18th and 19th Collin County residents to die after contracting COVID-19, officials said Tuesday.

One of the victims was a 90-year-old who lived at a McKinney assisted-living facility, and the other was a 102-year-old who lived at Life Care Center of Plano. Both had underlying health conditions.

County Judge Chris Hill said both men’s families were in his prayers.

Officials also reported 16 additional COVID-19 cases, bringing the county’s total to 692. Twenty-six remain hospitalized, while 473 have recovered.

Kaufman County

Officials in Kaufman County reported one additional case of COVID-19 on Tuesday, a resident of the Kemp/Mabank area.

The county also reported three new presumptive recoveries from the illness, for a total of 41 out of 74 cases.

No deaths have been reported among county residents.

Johnson County

A Burleson resident was Johnson County’s fourth resident to die from the coronavirus.

County officials also announced three new cases of the virus Tuesday, raising the county’s total to 76. Thirty-eight of those patients have been released from isolation.

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