Stay-at-home orders throughout the state will expire at midnight. Phase 1 of reopening Texas will begin Friday morning.
Thursday afternoon, Dallas County health officials announced the highest number of single-day cases reported during the COVID-19 pandemic.
County health officials say 179 additional residents have tested positive and five more people have died. This brings the total case count to 3,531 and the death toll to 104.
According to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, epidemiologists believe the increased numbers stem from a change in CDC guidelines that allows frontline workers to be tested without exhibiting any symptoms.
The five victims who died include a Balch Springs man in his 20s, a Dallas man in his 60s, and three residents at long-term care facilities in Dallas.
Those patients include a man in his 70s, a woman in her 80s, and a woman in her 90s.
“All of the above information points to the importance of limiting unnecessary shopping trips and avoiding crowds in this worsening situation,” Jenkins said.
“With the Governor’s order set to open still more businesses tomorrow, your smart decisions to protect you, your family, and the community are more important than ever. It’s beautiful weather and we’ve been cooped up for over a month but the underlying advice based on science from the health experts has not changed," he stated.
Friday will begin the process of reopening Texas as variations of stay-at-home orders are to expire at midnight. Malls, movie theaters, retailers, churches, and businesses will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity.
Several local leaders are still urging residents to practice social distancing and follow CDC guidelines as the state prepares to partially reopen.
Top updates for Thursday, April 30:
Roughly 30.3 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the six weeks since the coronavirus outbreak began forcing millions of employers to close their doors.American Airlines reported Thursday that revenue fell 19% while costs continued to rise even as the virus spread.As Texas prepares to partially allow businesses to reopen on Friday, self-made billionaire and NBA owner Mark Cuban says the state may be moving too fast.
For a daily roundup of the biggest coronavirus news from around North Texas, sign up for the WFAA COVID-19 email newsletter.
Dallas will reopen golf courses, other outdoor facilities Friday
City of Dallas officials announced that golf courses, tennis facilities, Elm Fork range and other facilities will reopen to the public on Friday.
According to a news release, residents will be required to follow strong social distancing and sanitary protocols at the select locations.
Below is a list of usage restrictions released by county officials:
Allow only one golfer per cart unless the other rider is a child aged 10 or underRestrict tee time reservations to online or by phone only – no walkupsRestrict tee times to group sizes of foursomes (four players at a time) onlyRestrict access to the pro shops to pro shop staff only and no more than four customers at a timeGolf pros will clean and sanitize carts after each rental and before being checked out
Restrict access to the pro shop to no more than two players at a timePros will clean and sanitize rental equipment between users
Place 6’ markings for points where lines formOpen only every other shooting lane for rental – providing for greater than 6’ of distancingRemove group seating areasAllow for call-in food orders only
Outdoor Programs (e.g. Fitness Camps)
Provide a minimum of 12' between participants with clearly identified workout locationsEnsure equipment is wiped down and sanitized after each use and before issuing to the next participant
More information on each facility can be found here.
Daily hospital capacity numbers
The city of Dallas released the following numbers as reported Wednesday by the 25 hospitals:
Total beds: 5,709Beds occupied: 3,336Total ICU beds: 827ICU beds occupied: 550Total ventilators: 943Ventilators in use: 330
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 gatheringsAvoid 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: